A woman dries up hundreds of face masks near the home factory in Kampung Anggur, Tangerang, Banten on April 4. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia's Daily Coronavirus Cases Surpass 400 for First Time


APRIL 17, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia reported 407 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday in yet another highest surge in the last two days, bringing the total number of cases to 5,923.

In a more encouraging figure, 59 coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, so that a total of 607 patients have recovered since the first cases were confirmed early last month. 

It maintains the positive trend of higher recovery rate over fatalities, which the country has managed to attain only since yesterday. The government's Covid-19 Task force said 24 patients died on Friday to bring the total death toll to 520.

“We will see a much higher number of recoveries for many days to come,” task force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said in a daily video conference in Jakarta.

But the spike in new cases may continue as well, with over 12,500 suspect coronavirus patients under observations.

Achmad said all those patients will undergo further tests using the polymerase chain reaction method to confirm if they catch the disease. Indonesia operates 34 labs that so far have conducted around 42,000 specimen tests.

The spokesman said the outbreak has now affected 214 districts and municipalities in all 34 provinces.


A Religious Affairs Ministry official also appeared in the teleconference to encourage Indonesian Muslims to remain at home during the holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week. 

“The coronavirus outbreak will cause a disruption and pose a very difficult test to us during Ramadan. The government has instructed that we stay and pray at home,” Kamaruddin Amin, the ministry’s director general for Islamic society development, said.

“The Hadith says that we shall not come to any potential harm or bring that harm to other people, even at worship places. Despite the high importance of congregations at mosques, we must pray at home during this current situation,” he said, referring to the guidance based on the Prophet Muhammad's daily practice.

The Tarawih, the additional evening prayer during Ramadan, should also be performed at home, he said.

“The quality of our prayer is not determined by where we are performing it, but by our sincerity and devotion in doing it,” he said.