Indonesian transportation minister recovering

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Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi who had tested positive for COVID-19 is recovering at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, Jakarta, where he has been undergoing treatment since March 14, a government official revealed.

“The transportation minister's condition has been getting better," said Special Staffer for Agency and Media Affairs at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Jodi Mahardi, during a telepress conference on Wednesday in Jakarta.
Mahardi said he believed the hospital authorities had even taken the 63-year-old minister off the ventilator. The minister was the 76th COVID-19 patient in Indonesia. He appealed to the people to pray Minister Budi Karya Sumadi makes a full recovery so he can get back to work. The government had confirmed on March 14 that Sumadi had tested positive for COVID-19. A cabinet minister, he had been in the frontline of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus, said Minister of State Secretary Pratikno//ANT


Indonesian govt distributes 125,000 rapid test kits to 34 provinces

Government spokesperson for COVID-10 handling, Achmad Yurianto, in Jakarta, Tuesday ( (ANTARA)

Jakarta - Indonesia’s central administration has provided 125,000 rapid test kits to 34 provinces for screening those coming in close contact with coronavirus patients and medical workers, said government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling, Achmad Yurianto.

"We have distributed 125,000 rapid test kits to 34 provinces," he said in Jakarta, Tuesday.

The provinces will use the rapid tests for two groups — those who have been in close contact with COVID-19 positive patients, and medical workers involved in coronavirus countermeasures, he said.

More kits will be distributed in the next phase, based on the areas where cases have emerged and areas with potential for infection.

"In the context of rapid tests, we have established a policy where the test will be carried out against those who have had contact with confirmed positive cases being treated in the hospital, or positive cases who are self-isolating at home," he added.

Yurianto further said contact tracing would involve testing family members living in the same house as a patient. If patients have a history of working in a certain place, with possibility of close contact, tests will also be carried out at their workplace, he added.

"Our second priority is medical workers involved in COVID-19 treatment, including hospital front-office workers. They are the group vulnerable to infection," he continued.

Tests will be carried out against the two prioritized groups in the first phase.

He further said that if there are more rapid test kits coming in, there will be region-based inspections, similar to the ones carried out in South Jakarta.

"The execution of the rapid test will be decentralized to health facilities in the region, such as health centers, regional laboratories, as well as government and regional hospitals," he said. (ANTARA)


Jakartans begin understanding importance of staying at home: police

The number cars passing by main roads of Jakarta has significantly declined over the past days amid ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic  (ANTARA)

Many Jakartans have begun understanding the importance of staying at home to contain the spread of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the police in this Indonesian capital city continue their patrols at night to call on those hanging out to go home.

"The number of people hanging out at night has declined compared to those on previous days. They may have begun understanding the situation they are facing," Jakarta Metropolitan Police Spokesman Sen.Coms.Yusri Yunus told ANTARA on Tuesday.

Over the past few days, the city police intensified joined patrols at certain places frequently used for hangouts, including Bulungan, Melawai, Blok M, Kemang, Pejaten, Mampang Prapatan, and Gajah Mada. The police still found many people hanging out there.

However, on Monday night, they found a different situation because the number of people hanging out there had drastically decreased compared to that on the previous days.

Jakarta is one of the cities in Indonesia which have severely suffered from the COVID-19 outbreak because the death toll from this virus in the city is the highest across Indonesia.

As of Tuesday, there were 686 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, and 424 of them were in Jakarta. The death toll from this virus reached 55, and Jakarta contributed 31 to the fatalities.

COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, 2019, has killed at least 16,591 people and infected no less than 384,432 people in 195 countries and territories worldwide, according to media reports.

Taking into account the rising death toll and the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

In Kota Metro, Lampung Province, a 2.4-year-old child has been admitted to a public hospital after presenting with flu, shortness of breath, along with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.

"The patient is under surveillance and currently being treated at the Jenderal Ahmad Yani Public Hospital's isolation room," head of the Kota Metro Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Task Force, Nasir AT MM, stated.

The toddler developed influenza, fever, and breathing difficulties after being taken to a city in West Java Province for a function, he remarked.


Jakarta - The Indonesian government will optimize industries that manufacture self-protection devices and other equipment for handling coronavirus (COVID-19), Doni Monardo, head of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling, stated in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"We have spoken to Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang that all industries that produce equipment to support the handling of COVID-19 will be optimized," Monardo remarked after a meeting with President Joko Widodo and all governors held to discuss measures to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is applicable to not only the textile industry to produce self-protection devices but also to manufacturers of masks, hand sanitizers, and other equipment. Hence, the local industries can meet the local demand and not depend on foreign assistance. They can work on partnership with producers of components of the equipment in regions, he said.

If the production can be maximized, Indonesia can, in future, supply self-protection gear to other countries in need, as the textile industry is mostly centered in South and Southeast Asia.

During the meeting, all governors have echoed their commitment to applying the government's policy on physical distancing.

He highlighted the need to follow a disciplined approach in practicing physical distancing.

As of Monday (March 23), Indonesia had 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the death toll reaching 49, while 30 had recovered. (ANTARA) 

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