Jakarta to fine IDR5 million anyone who refuses mandatory swab test

The Jakarta City Council says it’s drafting a new set of regional regulations that could see the introduction of hefty fines for health protocol violators, most notable among them a fine for those who refuse mandatory swab tests.

PCR swab tests are mandatory in Indonesia if determined as such by COVID-19 case tracers, but some have refused to be diagnosed due to the negative stigma surrounding the disease and/or refusal to be isolated.

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“Anyone who avoids or refuses to be subject to mandatory PCR testing will be fined IDR5 million (US$339),” city councilor Judistira Hermawan said today about one policy contained in the draft.

The fine, Judistira said, should be enough of a deterrent for Jakartans as testing is essential in the capital’s fight against COVID-19.

In addition, the draft also contains a fine of IDR5 million-7 million for anyone who claims the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients by force. Such incidents have happened in Indonesia, with families resorting to breaking the law in order to hold proper funerals for their loved ones instead of letting them be buried in accordance with COVID-19 protocols, which does not allow for religious or cultural rites.

The draft has been approved by the Jakarta Provincial Government and the City Council but its ratification is pending Home Affairs Ministry approval, which may come as early as the end of this week.

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