Jakarta. The number of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 in Indonesia went above the number of deaths for the first time on Thursday since the government began regularly updating the statistics last month.
According to government data, 548 patients have now fully recovered and been discharged from hospitals, while 496 others have died from the illness.
The promising trend came after a record 102 coronavirus patients recovered over the past 24 hours, against 27 deaths in the same period.
But new confirmed cases surged by a new record of 380 to bring the total cases to 5,516, as more tests were conducted across the country, Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said in a daily video conference in Jakarta.
"We have now conducted close to 40,000 tests using the polymerase chain reaction method," he said.
He indicated the outbreak is nowhere near its peak with over 169,000 persons under surveillance and 11,000 patients under observation for suspect infections.
"The government is doing its utmost to get rid of this outbreak as soon as possible, in a way that won't add new burden on the people," he said.
Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan confirmed that the ongoing large-scale social restriction (PSBB) will be expanded after April 23.
Jakarta, the epicenter of the pandemic in Indonesia with more than 50 percent of the confirmed cases, is the first city to formally adopt the restriction, which includes a ban on gatherings of more than five people and suspension of all non-essential businesses.
"According to the Health Minister regulation, the restriction applies for 14 days. In reality, however, we cannot defeat a pandemic in just 14 days, so for sure we will extend the PSBB," Anies said.
"Jakarta must get prepared for a longer period [of restrictions]. We assume this situation will last longer than many have expected," he said.
Anies said daily demand for personal protective equipment among medical workers have doubled to 10,000 in the capital, where around 100 hospitals are treating Covid-19 patients.
"The PPE demand stood at 5,000 units per day last week, by now it has climbed to 10,000," he said in a hearing with a House of Representatives' special committee on Covid-19.
Not just doctors and nurses, first responders including ambulance drivers and funeral service workers also need PPE according to the Covid-19 health protocols, he said.