Ministerial Large-Scale Social Restrictions Deemed Ineffective

05-04-2020 / KOMISI IX

Health Minister Regulation Number 9 of 2020 concerning the Large-Scale Social Restrictions Guidelines is considered ineffective, even counterproductive, to efforts of breaking the transmission chain of Covid-19. The regulation only adds to cumbersome bureaucracy in the outbreak mitigation.


A Member of Commission IX of the House of Representatives, Mr. Saleh Partaonan Daulay, in his press release on Saturday (5/4/2020) said, “After I read all the articles, I concluded that provisions in the Ministerial Regulation is similar to those in the Government Regulation. It only gives more details on the Social Restriction recommendation procedures by regional administrations.”


This National Mandate Party (PAN) politician did not see any progressive regulation to support the Covid-19 mitigation plan. “At a glance, the bureaucratic procedure is perfect. However, the extensive bureaucratic control will in fact decelerate the mitigation plan of Covid-19. Meanwhile, as we all know, the virus spreads very fast. It does not wait for the bureaucratic processes and results of studies as detailed in the Health Minister Regulation.


Daulay also criticized the determination of Social Restriction status in section three of the Regulation that requires a long procedure. In determining a status, the Minister must establish a team to conduct epidemiological studies, along with assessments of political, economic, social, cultural, religious, defense, and security aspects. The studies also require coordination with the Task Force for the Acceleration of Covid-19 Mitigation.


Not only that, the North Sumatra II electoral district legislator also added that the studies were meant to provide recommendations for the Minister. Daulay questioned the epidemic curve presented in the Permenkes. Among the questions he had regarding the curve was whether it is available now, how it currently looks like, and who has the right to publish it. The same questions also go to the transmission map. Daulay remained inquisitive about how the transmission map looks like. So far, the Government has never officially released a map of the transmission, only the total number of confirmed cased and death toll.


“If the Restriction procedures are difficult to implement at the capital city, I’m afraid it will even be more complicated for smaller cities. Furthermore, the Social Restriction status determination by recommendations of regional leaders entails too many data and criteria. In Article 4, for example, the Social Restriction recommendation by regional leaders require data on the increase in the number of new cases, accompanied by epidemic curve, time-based transmission map, and data on epidemic investigations that indicate second or third stage transmission,” explained the Deputy Chairperson of PAN Party of the Indonesian House.


Daulay believed that the procedure on the Social Restriction status determination would have been easier if the Task Force proposed it. Unlike the ones proposed by regional leaders, recommendations by the Task Force would not require information on the readiness of the regions based on different aspects of the availability of people’s basic needs, health facilities and infrastructures, budget, and the operations of Social Safety Net, and security.


In the Ministerial Regulation, all of these procedures fall under the responsibilities of regional leaders. “I’m afraid the Government Regulation and Ministerial Regulation for the Large-Scale Social Restriction Procedures will only become a piece of impossible document that cannot be implemented,” he concluded.

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