Dr. Moewardi Regional Hospital in Solo, Central Java, on Friday. (Antara Photo/Mohammad Ayudha)

Indonesian President Confirms Second Coronavirus Death


MARCH 13, 2020

Jakarta. At least two people have now died of the novel coronavirus in Indonesia, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Friday as he pledged to pour more funds and take more coordinated measures to contain the pandemic.

Jokowi said more serious attempts are needed to combat the Covid-19 disease that has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

"Last week, 88 countries were affected by coronavirus. Today it has reached 117 countries. As of March 12, two patients have died in Indonesia," Jokowi told reporters during a visit to Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten.

The second fatality is a 59-year-old male patient who had been treated at Moewardi Hospital in Solo, Central Java. He died on Thursday as a "person under investigation," the term in Indonesia for a patient suspected of having the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman for the government's coronavirus handling, confirmed on Friday the patient had tested positive for Covid-19.

The same official announced on Wednesday that a 53-year-old foreign citizen had become the first coronavirus casualty in Indonesia. Reports said the woman was a Briton who had been treated in a Bali hospital.

359 Hospitals

Jokowi said the government has prepared 359 hospitals across the country to handle Covid-19 patients.

"We've increased the number of the designated hospitals from 132 previously. We've added 109 military hospitals, 53 police hospitals and 65 hospitals run by state-owned enterprises," Jokowi said.

The government is building a "large-scale" Covid-19 observation center on Galang Island near Batam, he said.

"Hopefully the facility will be completed next week and I will inspect it myself," he said.

Speaking separately, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government has allocated a budget of Rp 1 trillion ($68 million) to procure medicines, protective gears and disinfectant to be used to contain the pandemic.  

"The government will cover all medical expenses of confirmed coronavirus patients," she said.