Ship passengers from Malaysia arrive at Dumai Internationa Port in Riau, on Friday. (Antara Photo/Aswaddy Hamid)

Health Ministry Announces 119 as Covid-19 Emergency Hotline


MARCH 06, 2020

Jakarta. The Health Ministry announced 119 as the emergency telephone number for novel coronavirus cases after two more people were diagnosed positive for the highly contagious disease on Friday, bringing the number of domestic transmission cases to four. 

The 119 hotline is operated by the ministry’s Public Safety Center (PSC). 

The ministry has earlier introduced two hotline numbers to respond public questions and reports on suspected coronavirus cases, but the operators weren’t able to cope with the massive incoming calls. 

“In regard to widespread information about Covid-19, the hotline has been integrated with the PSC 119 extension 9 to allow quicker responses,” the ministry announced on an Instagram post. 

“Not every incoming report will be responded by the deployment of an ambulance, we will first verify any report by the caller,” it said.

Indonesia announced two new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, four days after the announcement of the first two cases. The two new patients were linked to Patient 1 who hosted a dance party at Amigos Restaurant in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Feb. 14.

Patient 1's 64-year-old mother became the second novel coronavirus patient in Indonesia after taking care of her daughter at their home. 

A Japanese national, who also attended the party in Jakarta and was later identified as Patient 24 in Malaysia, is believed to be the source of the novel coronavirus infection on that day.