Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 365,240 confirmed infections, 12,617 deaths (19 October 2020)
19 October 2020 (closed)
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The annual mudik tradition has started in Indonesia. The term mudik refers to the exodus of Indonesian workers from the cities back to their hometowns ahead of Lebaran (the Indonesian name for Idul Fitri) which starts on 28 July 2014. Lebaran, a national holiday (from 28 July to 1 August), marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and is usually celebrated at people’s places of origin, implying that Indonesian cities become more-or-less deserted for one week. In the week up to Lebaran people start to mudik.
The peak of the mudik-exodus usually occurs three to four days ahead of Lebaran (around 25 July this year) and is always accompanied by severe traffic jams due to the country’s lack of quality and quantity of infrastructure. Transport companies have to work over hours (and provide additional services) in this period to absorb the sudden jump in passenger numbers. The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation predicted last week that about 27.9 million Indonesians will mudik at the end of this month (mostly traveling from cities on Java to the villages in Central and East Java). The government also provides additional transportation services for the people during this period.
Not only the Muslim community of Indonesia will return to their places of origin, but also people adhering to other religions traditionally use this public holiday to visit their parents or make a short holiday.
Indonesian media reported that last weekend the number of bus passengers leaving the capital city of Jakarta already increased and therefore additional buses were used. Whereas on a normal weekend about 800 buses are operated at East Jakarta’s Kampung Rambutan terminal, last weekend almost 1000 buses were used. State-owned railway company Kereta Api Indonesia also started to provide additional trains to carry the increase in passenger numbers.
State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II expects that around 2.84 million air passengers will travel through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (located just outside Jakarta) during the exodus (slightly higher than the 2.65 million air passengers during last year’s exodus).
Indonesia’s national police force will deploy 137,795 personnel and the Indonesian Army (TNI) provides an additional 51,552 military personnel to safeguard public order during the mudik period.