Jokowi declares health emergency

31st March 2020

The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared a COVID-19 public health emergency on Tuesday (Mar, 31st 2020) due to the increasing numbers of infections and also casualties across the country.

Basically that will allow the national police to monitor and enforce that the public obeys to the regulations.Violations can be punished by a fine of up to  IDR100mio or even 1 year imprisonment.

Tightening the regulations and aiding the poor

The president said during the press conference that the restrictions are based on the 2018 Law on Health Quarantine, which allows cities and provinces to shut down non-essential services and limit religious and social activities. “We are taking the option of imposing large-scale social restrictions […] as stipulated by Law No.6/2018 on health quarantines. We have also issued a government regulation on social restrictions, as well as a presidential decree on the emergency status,” Jokowi said.

These regulations will allow the national police “to take proportionate law enforcement steps" in order to keep the large-scale social restriction measures running smoothly and effectively prevent the spread of Covid-19 outbreak.

Any violations to this regulation can be sentenced to one year imprisonment or a maximum fine of Rp100 million.

Furthermore, the government emphasized if these regulations are not taking seriously by the public then martial law will be enforced in the future. “We are preparing (optional) martial law under abnormal circumstances. We are prepared to take such measures, but not under the current circumstances of course,” Added Mr President. Local and regional leaders are also urged to follow current regulations and not issue their own regulations.

Besides declaring the large-scale social restrictions, the government also mentioned providing financial aid to informal workers and the underprivileged, waiving electricity bills for needy people (houses with 450VA) and setting aside 25 trillion rupiah (US$150 million) to make sure the prices of primary needs such as food and other daily necessities affordable.