‘Work from home, pray from home’: President Jokowi recommends social distancing as COVID-19 cases in Indonesia surpass 100

President Joko Widodo during a press statement in Jakarta on March 15. Screengrab: Presidential Secretariat
President Joko Widodo during a press statement in Jakarta on March 15. Screengrab: Presidential Secretariat

President Joko Widodo has advised citizens of the archipelagic nation to begin staying at home, highlighting the importance of cooperation as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia continues to rise amid the pandemic.

At a press statement in Jakarta today, Jokowi reminded Indonesians to stay calm and not panic amid the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, noting that Indonesians must remain productive, stay cautious, and be part of a social distancing movement experts say is the most effective way to contain the pandemic.

“Under the circumstances right now, it’s time for us to work from home, study from home, pray from home,” Jokowi said.

“It’s time to work together, help one another, to unite, gotong royong.”

Gotong royong is an Indonesian phrase meaning mutual cooperation. 

During the press statement, Jokowi also reassured that the government is taking quick steps to anticipate the impacts of the pandemic, including by ensuring adequate stocks of food and other necessities and an effective disbursement of the state budget to address the situation. 

He also said that testing for the viral disease will be increased, along with the capacities of regional general hospitals and private hospitals across the country.

Indonesia today confirmed 21 new COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing the total number of domestic infections to 117. The new cases consist of 19 in Jakarta and two in Central Java, according to a statement issued by the Health Ministry. 

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, the news of which was announced yesterday, and is reportedly being treated at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital. 

Read more news and updates from Jakarta here.

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