The construction of the Cisumdawu Phase III Toll Road in the Indonesian province of West Java is continuing to advance amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the country following changes in safety and health procedures at the construction sites.

In every site, everybody, particularly workers, must go through temperature checks regularly before entering the area.

Prior to working in the morning, they receive daily COVID-19 briefings on-site. Moreover, rapid antibody tests for COVID-19 are being conducted.

For Endy Arifin, who works as a site engineer at the development of the Cileunyi interchange located in Bandung Regency, the new safety and health protocols are important because they protect the well-being of workers and visitors.

“To date, no workers contracted the virus,” he told.

Arifin, who has been working at the project site for two years, explained that when the West Java administration started implementing large-scale social restrictions policy in April, the construction projects of Cisumdawu Phase III Toll Road stopped temporarily until the situation could be under control.

“Now the working conditions here are already normal. We are now accelerating our works that had slowed down due to the pandemic,” he said.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s most populated nation, confirmed its first coronavirus cases on March 2.

In April, several provinces in Indonesia started implementing large-scale social restrictions, known in the country by its acronym PSBB, in a bid to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Latest data released by the Indonesian government on Tuesday (Aug. 18) showed the total cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the world’s fourth most populous country increased to 143,043. The coronavirus has claimed 6,277 lives across the country.

Specifically, the number of the COVID-19 cases in West Java, which has the biggest population of more than 40 million people, reached 8,685 with the death toll increasing to 238.

On June 26, the provincial administration decided not to extend its partial lockdown policy. Authorities have been focusing more on conducting tests in areas prone to the COVID-19.

The completion of the Cisumdawu toll road that will connect West Java province’s capital of Bandung and Kertajati International Airport in the province’s regency of Majalengka is highly anticipated as it will boost the accessibility of the airport that began its operation in May 2018.

With the completion of the toll road, the traveling time from Bandung to the airport will be cut to only one hour or less from around 2.5 hours today. The Cisumdawu toll road development is one of the key construction projects in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

The construction of the Cisumdawu Phase III Toll Road, which has a total length of 10.575 kilometers, is jointly undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and Indonesia’s state-owned construction firm Adhi Karya.

CRBC Indonesia General Manager Wei Wen called on construction workers to prioritize their health while achieving their goals in the projects.

“The production and the pandemic prevention must be simultaneously combined. We shall not let either one of them slip away. Both are our responsibilities and goals,” he told.

“We must firmly carry it on our shoulders, strive to complete high quality and safety construction and contribute to the construction of the Silk Road project”

Wei Added.