An Indonesian Red Cross personnel wearing protective gear sprays a KFC sign with disinfectant at the Sarinah department store in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Breeding Ground: Jakarta Home to Two-thirds of Indonesia's 309 Covid-19 Cases 


MARCH 19, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian government reported a yet faster growth of Covid-19 cases in the country, which reached a total of 309 on Thursday, up by 82 from yesterday, with the capital Jakarta accounting for two-thirds of the cases with 210.

The national death toll rose to 25 from 19 a day earlier, and only 15 patients have recovered, a government spokesman said in a daily news conference in Jakarta.


Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman for the government handling of coronavirus outbreak, said among the dead were patients aged between 37 and 65.

"The fatality rate remains at around 8 percent across the country," Achmad said.

"Underlying illnesses [contributed to the fatalities], mostly diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and obstructive lung diseases," he said.

He said 17 of the deaths happened in Jakarta. The capital city also has the fastest growth of new cases with 52 since Wednesday, while 13 other coronavirus-hit provinces reported three new cases or fewer.

Neighboring Banten province was in distant second with a total of 27 confirmed cases, followed by West Java (26 cases) and Central Java (12 cases).

The resort island of Bali, which received hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors a year, has only a single case, according to the government's data.

The same official said earlier Jakarta as the country's largest city is more vulnerable to Covid-19 transmissions than other cities.

"Jakarta understandably has the most cases because the city serves as a gateway to the country with very high people mobility. There's a greater risk of contacts with infected persons here," he said.

The city government also raised concerns that many infected persons and people suspected of having the virus have no proper facility to self-isolate at home, while hospitals cannot cope with how fast new cases are emerging.

This has led to a decision from the central government to convert the former 2018 Asian Games Athletes' Village in Kemayoran into a makeshift hospital.

Works to add 1,800 isolation beds to the Athletes' Village began on Wednesday evening.

The Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in Sunter, North Jakarta, said earlier the number of Covid-19 patients there has exceeded its capacity, even after it decided to turn away patients with other illnesses.