A sanitation worker sprays disinfectant at Lawang Sewu Museum in Semarang Central Java on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Aji Styawan)

Indonesia's Covid-19 Cases Rise to 117 as Cabinet Members Take Test for Coronavirus


MARCH 15, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia has tested 21 more people positive for Covid-19 disease on Sunday, adding the total number of people infected by the novel coronavirus to 117 in just two weeks since the country's first confirmed the first case in its territory. 

"Today we have 21 new cases, of which 19 are in Jakarta, and two are in Central Java," Achmad Yurianto, the government's spokesperson for Covid-19 handling, said in a press conference. 


"The positive cases in Jakarta is the development of tracing from the previous cases," he said. 

There was no additional death, Achmad said, leaving the total fatality at five. As of today, the country has tested more than 1,290 samples.

Achmad had said earlier than starting Monday, two laboratories at Airlangga University in Surabaya and Eijkman Molecular Biology Institute in Jakarta would join the 11 facilities run by the Health Ministry across Indonesia to increase the government's capacity of running the test.

Seven provinces across Indonesia now have confirmed Covid-19 cases in their region, including the country's most populous province West Java that saw a total of 10 cases in Bekasi, Depok, Cirebon, and Bandung. 

Ganjar Pranowo, the Central Java governor, said that the two patients that were just confirmed positive for the virus in the province were now under treatment in Semarang and Magelang. The one in Semarang had just come back from Bali, while the other patient had returned from Malaysia. Central Java now has a total of six cases. 

Tests for Cabinet Members 

The ministers in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo were taking the test for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, after their fellow Budi Karya Sumadi, the transportation minister, tested positive for the virus on Saturday. Budi attended a cabinet meeting with President Jokowi and most of the ministers on Wednesday. 

The president said on Sunday that the remaining ministers and he would take the test for the novel coronavirus. 

Minister of National Development Planning Suharso Monoarfa made the initiative to take the test on Sunday, according to Asrul Sani, the secretary-general of the United Development Party (PPP), which Suharso also chairs. "As of this afternoon, there was no result yet that showed that he was positive," Asrul said. 

Rahayu Puspasari, a Finance Ministry's spokeswoman, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and her deputies were taking the Covid-19 test, to determine their transmission risk.

"The Finance Minister continues to carry out her duties fully and healthily, including preparing the steps for regulating and providing the budget needed by all ministries or institutions and regional governments," Rahayu said.