A worker disinfects benches at the GBK Stadium in Jakarta on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia's Covid-19 Cases Increase to 893, Single-Day New Cases Again Above 100

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO, YUSTINUS PAAT

MARCH 26, 2020

Jakarta. The spread of coronavirus in Indonesia has yet to slow down with 103 new positive cases reported over the past two days, bringing the country's total to 893, the government announced on Thursday.

This is the second time the number of new cases on a single day has hit triple digits.

Only four patients recovered on Thursday, while 20 more died to take the country's death toll from Covid-19 to 78, more than double the total recoveries, according to Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman for the government's Covid-19 Task Force.

"Most of the cases continue to occur in Jakarta. But we noted a significant growth in South Sulawesi, where there are 14 new cases today alone," Achmad said in a daily video conference in Jakarta.

Jakarta has 515 positive cases with 46 deaths as of Thursday.

Medical Workers at Increased Risk 

Speaking separately, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said among the people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the capital were 50 medical workers on the frontline of the battle against the virus.

"The number of infected medical workers is 50 in Jakarta alone. Two of them have died. The cases are found in 24 hospitals across Jakarta," Anies said in a news conference at City Hall.

The governor said the municipally-owned Grand Cempaka Business Hotel has been transformed into a shelter for medical workers. 

"Starting today, the Grand Cempaka Business Hotel is being operated as a shelter for medical workers in Jakarta who have been working very hard to defeat the Covid-19 epidemic," Anies wrote on his Instagram account.

The hotel has 220 rooms with a total of 414 beds.

He said 138 medical workers from two Jakarta hospitals began occupying the hotel on Thursday.

"In the near future, three more municipally-owned hotels with 261 rooms and 361 beds will be prepared for similar purposes. All supporting facilities in those hotels will be exclusively used to protect and serve medical workers," Anies said.

The city deploys 65 buses to transport the medical workers daily, he said.

Thousands of Volunteers Needed

The government is recruiting thousands of doctors, nurses, laboratory staff and medical students on their final year to join the Covid-19 Task Force as volunteers.

People from other professions are encouraged to join in various roles, including as ambulance drivers.

“Indonesia needs around 1,500 doctors, particularly lung specialists and anesthesiologists, and also general practitioners and medical lab technicians," Andre Rahadian, the volunteer coordinator for the Covid-19 Task Force, said in a video conference.

"We also need 2,500 nurses and people to work as ambulance drivers. [Medical] students in their final year are encouraged to volunteer to provide online psychological and medical consultations," he said.

"The country calls on you to become volunteers in this fight against the pandemic," Andre said. 
 

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