‘Just enjoy’: Indonesia’s Health Minister urges public not to panic over coronavirus outbreak

Indonesia’s Health Minister Terawan Agus Purwanto speaking to reporters on Jan 26. Photo: Kemenkes RI
Indonesia’s Health Minister Terawan Agus Purwanto speaking to reporters on Jan 26. Photo: Kemenkes RI

Health Minister Terawan Agus Purwanto said Indonesians shouldn’t be alarmed about the deadly outbreak of the novel coronavirus from China and suggested that local news outlets should report on this issue “wisely.” 

Speaking at a meeting in Jakarta yesterday, Terawan compared the reported number of cases in China with the country’s total population and highlighted that it’s relatively small. 

“That’s why we should not panic when it comes to preventive measures, let’s not be anxious. Just enjoy, consume enough food,” Terawan said yesterday, as quoted by Detik.

As of writing time, Indonesia has no confirmed cases of the disease. 

Terawan also spoke about the importance of maintaining the immune system to prevent the virus from spreading, noting that there are currently no vaccinations yet. The ministry plans to campaign for a healthy lifestyle, which includes 30-minute daily walking and drinking water regularly.

“The key is to keep praying and to maintain your immunity. If you have a good immune system you won’t [be infected]. The virus pursues those with weak immunity,” Terawan said, as quoted by CNBC Indonesia.

As infections and fatalities continue to skyrocket in China and the first case was reported in Cambodia, President Joko Widodo has urged the public to remain vigilant and ordered health officials in the country to closely monitor developments of the Wuhan virus. 

In China, the virus has now infected more than 4,000 and killed 106. Direct travel to and from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has already been suspended. The Indonesian government said there are currently no plans to further restrict travelers from that country, despite concerns about human-to-human transmission. 

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