July Aidilfitri leave mulled

PRESIDENT Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is considering moving the country’s Aidilfitri collective leave to July after previously deciding to push it back to December due to concerns over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19 task force head Doni Monardo said Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko had floated the suggestion to the president and other state officials last Thursday.

“The president wants us to consider which one is better, whether to put (the collective leave) together with Aidiladha in late July or to push it back to the end of this year,” Doni said as quoted by kompas.com, “There are still options (to change the dates).”

The government announced on April 10 that it would move the four-day Aidilfitri collective to Dec 28-31, nearing other year-end holidays, from the initial dates of May 26 to 29 to discourage people from taking part in the annual mudik (exodus) amid concerns of wider virus transmission.

Jokowi’s administration later decided to ban mudik altogether and put in place strict measures and monitoring to prevent people from departing to their hometowns.

Doni went on to say that the decision on the dates of the Aidilfitri collective leave largely depended on the flattening of the Covid-19 transmission curve and the public’s commitment to abide by large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

According to the task force, a number of coronavirus red zones across the country had recorded lower transmission rates following PSBB implementation.

However, Doni said it would take a rather a long time for the country to fully recover and that the public might need adjust to a “new normal” for the next several months by wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.

“Everything depends on us. The more disciplined we are in obeying health protocols, the sooner things go back to normal,” he said.

As of Monday, Indonesia had confirmed more than 11,192 Covid-19 cases and 845 deaths linked to the disease. — The Jakarta Post/ANN
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