700,000 people at risk of coronavirus infections in Indonesia, gov’t says, as domestic cases rise to 369

Health monitoring counter at an Indonesian airport. Photo: Kemenhub
Health monitoring counter at an Indonesian airport. Photo: Kemenhub

Indonesia’s Health Ministry today said that almost 700,000 people are at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the country, with the government gearing up for more rapid tests across the country to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The latest official data shows 60 new infections this afternoon, taking the country’s official caseload to 369. 

“The population at risk is estimated at around 600,000 to 700,000, which is why the government will prepare about one million rapid-test kits to conduct mass testing and identify the positive cases,” Achmad Yurianto, Indonesia’s spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters, said during a press conference in Jakarta this afternoon. 

He also announced that the government has received 2,000 test kits today, which will soon be distributed to local health agencies across the country. 

The death toll from COVID-19 has increased to 32 from 25 yesterday, with Jakarta reporting most deaths at 18 cases, followed by West Java with seven cases. 

The number of recovered patients, meanwhile, have increased slightly from 15 to 17. 

In addition, the latest official data also shows one more province, Central Kalimantan, being included in the list of infected regions, with two cases. 

Here is the COVID-19 spread by province:

Jakarta – 215
Banten – 37
West Java – 41
East Java – 15
Central Java – 12
East Kalimantan – 10
Yogyakarta – 4
Riau Islands – 4
Southeast Sulawesi – 3
Central Kalimantan – 2
West Kalimantan – 2
North Sumatra – 2
South Sulawesi – 2
Lampung – 1
North Sulawesi – 1
Riau – 1
Bali – 4
Unidentified – 13

Boosting immune system is key

During today’s press conference, Achmad emphasized the importance of boosting the immune system to treat those who are infected with the novel coronavirus. 

“At this point we don’t have to wait for a definitive drug to treat this, or definitive vaccine against this disease, because there have been more recovered patients, if we’re looking at the global data, than those who have died,” Achmad said.

“Which means that efforts to boost the immune system will be key for us. Some of the patients that we have treated did not undergo a specific treatment but we repair their general condition, their immune status, and they have recovered.” 

Achmad said that Indonesia’s strategy to tackle the global health crisis will be focused on social distancing, and overall better information on what to do and where to go when an individual is sick, as well as on self-isolation.

Also Read — Duty Calls: Working from home a privilege only some Jakartans can afford 

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