Wenny Zulianti

Wenny Zulianti

10
March

The government is ready to give assistance to an Indonesian woman in her 50s who recently tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Australian state of Victoria, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi says. 

Retno said that she had met with Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan in Jakarta on Monday to clarify the citizenship status of the woman, who was later confirmed to be an Indonesian citizen holding an Australian permanent residency visa. 

She told reporters the Indonesian government “will try to get more information about her” while at the same time respecting her privacy. 

“However, as she is an Indonesian citizen then she has to understand that if she needs help, our representative [in Australia] is ready to help her at any time,” Retno said on Monday.

News of the patient made rounds on Sunday after the Victorian Health Department issued a public statement saying the patient "who is now well and in home-isolation" was the 12th confirmed COVID-19 case in Victoria. 

The woman, who flew from Jakarta to Perth on Feb. 27, tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.

The department is seeking to contact anyone who was traveling on Virgin Airlines flight VA682 from Perth to Melbourne on March 2, which was the flight taken by the patient when she was already showing symptoms of the respiratory illness.

The Indonesian Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto said his ministry had coordinated with Indonesian representatives in the neighboring country to trace the patient’s travel records. 

Achmad, however, asserted that his office believed the patient “did not contract the virus in Indonesia”.

Authorities worldwide, including in Indonesia and Australia, are on high alert over the coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 4,000 and infected more than 110,000 people in more than 100 countries, AFP reported. 

According to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Australia recorded 91 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, while Indonesia recorded 19 cases on its soil. 

Citizens have been advised to regularly wash their hands with soap and take care of their health as the best means of protecting themselves against the virus.

 

10
March

A 40-year-old women in Panama has tested positive for coronavirus, the country's health minister said on Monday, marking the first such case in the Central American nation.

The unnamed women had traveled from Spain and upon arriving to Panama on Monday sought hospital care for fever and a cough, Health Minister Rosario Turner told reporters, adding that the government wanted to be transparent about the case.

The woman, whose nationality was not disclosed and is believed to have a relatively minor case of the illness, has since been sent home in stable condition, the minister added.

"She has what we could describe as a minor case of coronavirus," said Turner. 

10
March

Indonesia has reported a spike in COVID-19 cases, with 19 patients confirmed as having contracted the virus, indicating an increase of 13 cases from the previous total of six.

"The number of confirmed cases today is at 19, including the first six cases," said Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Achmad Yurianto, speaking from the Presidential Offices in Jakarta, Monday.

Yurianto, who is also the government's spokesperson for the handling of COVID-19, provided details of each case.

"We identified case-7 as a 59-year-old woman who is exhibiting mild illness symptoms and is stable. This is an imported case, as she had just returned from a foreign country and was exhibiting symptoms. She was examined four days ago and the test results came out positive. This is case number 7," he added.

Case-8 is known to be the spouse of case-7 and had contracted the disease from her. "He is being treated with a number of health support devices, including IV and oxygen," he said, adding that he had a history of some existing illnesses, including diarrhea and diabetes prior to the infection. He is categorized as a severely ill patient.

"Case-9 is a 55-year-old woman who is exhibiting mild illness symptoms without any records of existing diseases. She is also an imported case and is not from any clusters. She came in from a foreign country," he added.

A 29-year-old male who is a foreign national was identified as case-19. He exhibited mild illness symptoms and was part of the tracing scheme from case-1.

Another foreign national, a 54-year-old woman, was identified as case-11, as well as a 31-year-old male identified as case-12, who are both exhibiting mild to moderate illness symptoms and was also tracked down based on the list of contacts made by case-1.

Case-13 is a 16-year-old female who was tracked from the sub-cluster of case-3, while case-14 is a 50-year-old male with mild to moderate symptoms and is an imported case.

Case-15 is a 43-year-old female imported case and case-16 is a 17-year-old female who had close contact with case-15.

Case-7 is a 56-year-old male imported case, case-18 is a 55-year-old imported case, and case-19 is a 40-year-old male imported case.

"Some of them are being treated in Jakarta and there are some treated outside of Jakarta," Yurianto explained.

10
March

 Indonesian Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya received Dutch Minister of Infrastructures and Water Management Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen in Jakarta on Monday to discuss cooperation in waste management and climate change.

The two ministers agreed to continue and strengthen cooperation in waste management, circular economy, water quality and climate change contained in a memorandum of understanding (MoU), according to a written statement received here.

Siti Nurbaya said circular economy aimed at eliminating waste and continual use of resources is now trending in Indonesia. Several companies including Danone, Nestle, Unilever and Tetra-pack have taken steps in favor of circular economy.

She said 33 Indonesian cities have imposed a ban on single-use plastic bags.

After all, the Indonesian government has been extra cautious in making the waste management policy in view of the country's large demography and the varying spectrum of the demography.

Meanwhile, Minister Cora hailed the signing of the MoU on circular economy. "The Netherlands also has experience in processing waste into energy as part of circular economy. There is a business delegation in charge of this issue, which also joins the visit to Indonesia this time."

He said the Dutch government is developing a new project called fishing for litter. The project which involves business entities is aimed at recycling plastic waste into usable items.

"We invite the minister of the environment and forestry to visit the Netherlands to get first hand information about that," he said.

Minister Cora also invited the Indonesian minister for the environment and forestry to attend the Global Commission Summit scheduled for October 2020. At the forum the Indonesian government will have a chance to unveil a variety of programs to control climate change in Indonesia.