JAKARTA-- The Indonesian police have thwarted thousands of people planning to go back to hometowns for celebrating the Islamic festivity as the country has been beefing up strides to cushion the spread of COVID-19.
Nearly 5,000 vehicles carrying people have been stopped by police personnel and ordered them to turn back to their original cities including the capital of Jakarta from which they started departures, Chief of the National Police's Traffic Corps General Istiono said on Sunday.
Again, the police urged people to avoid exodus to hometowns during the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadhan which will be ended with the post-fasting festivity Eid al-Fitr on May 24, he said.
"We ask travelers for not spreading the COVID-19 virus to other places," the general remarked on a text message.
The prevention of the exodus was carried out at the second day of the implementation of the government's ban. The bar was strengthened by a prohibition of all air, sea and land travels, kicking off two days ago until the end of May.
To support the implementation of the bar on the massive departures, Indonesia has dispatched over 170 police and military personnel to maintain the fresh policy.
About 20 million people in the world's largest Muslim country regularly travel to hometowns for celebrating Eid al-Fitr annually.
On Sunday, the Indonesian Health Ministry said that a total of 743 people have died of COVID-19 with 8,882 others infected in the country.
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