Bogor Mayor Bima Arya, left, visits a patient isolation facility at Siloam Hospital in Bogor on March 3. (B1 Photo)

Bogor Mayor Tests Positive for Covid-19

BY :VENTO SAUDALE, ASNI OVIER

MARCH 20, 2020

Bogor. The mayor of Bogor, one of Jakarta's satellite cities south of the capital, has tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from official trips to Turkey and Azerbaijan, a health official said on Friday.

Bima Arya and his entourage arrived back in Indonesia on Monday. The mayor decided to get tested for coronavirus at the Bogor Senior Hospital after starting to suffer from flu-like symptoms the following day.

He said at the time he would self-isolate for precaution.

"On Thursday afternoon, Bogor Mayor Bima Arya received the result of his swab test, which confirmed he had contracted Covid-19," Bogor Health Department Head Sri Nowo Retno said in a news conference.

Another city official has also tested positive for coronavirus, but Retno declined to reveal his or her identity.

"After the positive test results, the mayor and the official were immediately placed in isolation at the Bogor Municipal Hospital. They will stay there for at least 14 days starting Thursday evening," she said.

Retno said her team is still tracing people who had made contacts with both officials.

Bima announced the test result on his Instagram account on Thursday evening.

"My loving Bogor residents, my Covid-19 test has come back positive. My prayer goes to us all. May all of us be blessed with fitness. We are fighting this coronavirus together. Please follow the government's instructions. Take care of yourself and observe social distancing. Let's fight [this pandemic] and hope for the best. Stay optimistic," he wrote.

Bima is the second public official to contract the virus after Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, who tested positive last week.

Budi's positive test result prompted the country’s top officials, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, to take the coronavirus test.

The president announced in a video message on Thursday his test results had come back negative.

"My wife Iriana and I took the Covid-19 test four days ago. The results came back negative yesterday. On behalf of the Indonesian people, I would like to thank all doctors, nurses and hospitals across the country who have been working very hard with the utmost dedication to serve and treat Covid-19 patients," Jokowi said in the video, where he was accompanied by the First Lady.

Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian praised Bima for immediately announcing his positive test result, which allowed health officials to take immediate responses, especially in contact tracing.

"We should appreciate the Bogor mayor's openness in announcing he has been infected with Covid-19 and his earlier decision to put himself into voluntary isolation," Tito said in Jakarta on Friday.

Tito said Bima was the first regional government head to have tested positive for Covid-19.

"In developed countries, public officials who have contracted Covid-19 regularly announce their test results to the public. Awareness like this helps slow down the transmission of the deadly virus," Tito said.

"We pray for a speedy recovery for Mr. Bima Arya and all the other people who have contracted this terrible disease," he said.

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