ndonesia has imposed curbs on public transport ahead of the annual exodus to home villages that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Sunday.
About 75 million Indonesians usually stream home from bigger cities at the end of Ramadan, due this year at the end of May, but health experts have warned against a surge in cases after a slow government response masked the scale of the outbreak.
Public buses, trains, airplanes and ships will be allowed to fill only half their passenger seats, under a new regulation that also limits occupation of a private car to just half the seats, while a motorcycle may be ridden only by one person.
“The essence of this new regulation is to carry out public transport control…while still meeting the needs of the people,” transport ministry spokeswoman Adita Irawati said in a statement posted on the cabinet secretariat website.
The capital Jakarta is the epicenter of the outbreak in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, with the most infections and deaths among a national tally of 3,842 cases and 327 fatalities.
President Joko Widodo has been criticized for rejecting calls for an outright ban on the Ramadan travel home, as well as stricter lockdowns such as those imposed by neighbors.