A health worker takes a blood sample through a car window during a drive-through test for Covid-19 at Pajajaran Stadium in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia's Covid-19 Cases Near 3,000 

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO

APRIL 08, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia reported 218 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours to put the overall number to 2,956 and 19 more fatalities to bring the accumulative death toll to 240.

Only 18 more people have recovered from the infectious illness over the same period to bring the total number of recoveries to 222, still below the death toll.

The government's Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto attributed the consistently high spikes in new cases every day – above 200 in recent days – to asymptomatic carriers and more tests being carried out across the country.

"We believe there are many people who already have coronavirus among us, but they don't show any symptoms or show very little of it," Achmad said in a teleconference in Jakarta.

These silent carriers may increase the number of infections and remain undetected, so the government has ordered all citizens to wear face masks when they go outdoor, said Achmad, who wore a mask for the first time since he began his daily briefing to the press a month ago.

He also said the government has conducted more than 15,000 tests across the country for Covid-19, focusing on areas where positive cases have been found earlier.

The number of tests has almost doubled since last week, resulting in more positive cases being detected.

"We've begun distributing more than 450,000 rapid testing kits across Indonesia to trace contacts among health workers and communities in areas where many positive cases are found," Achmad said.

The government has also stockpiled personal protective equipment mainly for medical workers.

"Until now we have procured more than 679,000 units of PPE and around 500,000 of them are already in our stockpile. Distribution is underway, including to several provinces in Sumatra today," he said.

"In addition, nearly 18,000 medical and non-medical volunteers have registered with us and more than Rp 83 billion [$5 million] of donation has been accepted from many sources, including the Indonesian diaspora," Achmad said.

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