309 positive cases, 25 deaths

Government Spokesman for the Mitigation of Coronavirus, Achmad Yurianto. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Cases of Coronavirus or Covid-19 in Indonesia continue to increase in number. When it was first announced on 2 March 2020, there were only 2 cases. However, by Thursday 19 March 2020 at 12.00 WIB, the total is 309 sufferers, with 25 deaths. “From 17 March at 12.00 WIB to 18 March at 12.00 WIB, 55 additional positive cases were diag­nosed,” said the Government Spokes­man for the Mitigation of Coronavi­rus, Achmad Yurianto (“Y uri”), at the Indonesian National Board of Disaster Management (Badan Na­tional Penanggulangan Bencana – “BNPB”) Office, Jakarta, on Thursday (19/03/2020).

The latest positive Corona cases come from Banten (4 cases), DIY (1 case), DKI (30 cases), West Java (12 cases), Central Java (2 cases), North Sumatra (1 case), Lampung (1 case), Riau (1 case), and East Kalimantan (1 case). Yuri also mentioned that the number of patients who died has also increased – and there were some who have recovered as well. “The to­tal number of deaths is 25,” he said. “From Bali, 1 death; from Banten, 1; from DKI, 12; from West Java, 1; from Central Java, 2; from East Java, 1; and from North Sumatra, 1 death. However, 11 Corona patients have re­covered as well. They are from Bant­en (1 patient), Jakarta (9 patients), and West Java (1 patient).”

Yuri stated that the spike in the number of cases occurred because some regional hospitals did not report Corona cases from 12 March to 17 March. Ministry of Health data stat­ed that 1,255 people have been test­ed for the virus, with 1,083 of them proven to be negative. This increase in the number of positive Corona cas­es in Indonesia has caused the Gov­ernment to increase the number of referral hospitals.

Now, the Government has pro­vided 227 referral hospitals. Initially, there were only 100 referral hospitals. However, the number was increased in 10 March. The increase of referral hospitals is based on the Decree of the Minister of Health Number 169 of 2020 concerning the Appointment of Referral Hospitals for the Mitiga­tion of Specific Emerging Infectious diseases. The Ministry of Health’s of­ficial webpage stated that 109 of the referral hospitals are Military hospi­tals, 53 are Police hospitals, and 65 are State-Owned hospitals.

Achmad Yurianto further stated that the highest number of Covid-19 cases are found in DKI Jakarta. “We understand that there many gates for people from all regions and countries to enter DKI. Furthermore, popula­tion mobility is extremely high, and there is a high possibility of contact with existing positive cases due to population density,” he said in Ja­karta on Tuesday (17/03/2020). “The new cases in Jakarta are found by tracing the contact of existing pos­itive patients, which is performed by the staff of the DKI Health Office with the help of the Police and the Region­al Government. Not all positive cases are treated in the hospital. The tens of patients with negative test results and those with lighter symptoms are sent home to self-quarantine.”

With the continued increase of the number of citizens testing pos­itive for Covid-19, the BNPB de­clared that the emergency status in response to the Coronavirus outbreak is extended. This outbreak is now categorized as “National-Scale Disaster”. However, neither the Central Government nor the Re­gional Governments have declared a state of emergency. “This is really national scale. The status of ‘special conditions’ is being extended fur­ther, because even now no Govern­ment, whether national or regional, has declared a State of Emergency. Therefore, BNPB sees the need to ex­tend this state of emergency from 29 February to 29 May 2020,” said the Head of BNPB’s Data and Informa­tion Center, Agus Wibowo, during a press conference in his office in Ja­karta on Tuesday (17/03/2020).

Therefore, Agus asks that Region­al Heads quickly declare the status of their respective regions in accordance with the instructions given by Pres­ident Joko Widodo. “First is ‘emer­gency ready’, second is ‘emergency response’. The ‘emergency ready’ status is for regions with no cases yet, for anticipation,” he said. “Then ‘emergency response’ status should be declared for regions with positive test results such as DKI Jakarta, West Java, and other regions. However, this declaration of regional status must first be confirmed with the Head of the Covid-19 Mitigation Acceleration Task Force, also the Head of BNPB, Doni Monardo.” (des)