Vivi Setiawaty, the head of the center for research and development in biomedical and basic technology at the Health Ministry, wears protective clothing to enter a laboratory in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Indonesia's First Covid-19 Fatality Is a Foreign Citizen


MARCH 11, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia announced its first Covid-19 fatality on Wednesday, a 53-year-old female foreign citizen who died just a day after she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

The government spokesman for Covid-19 handling, Achmad Yurianto, said the woman had been suffering from other medical conditions before catching the coronavirus. 

"The coronavirus undermined her immunity and increased the severity of her existing illnesses," Yurianto said. 

Achmad said what happened to the woman was consistent with Covid-19 cases in other countries, suggesting that people with preexisting medical conditions are more vulnerable to the deadly disease. 


"From what we've observed in Covid-19 cases in other countries, most of the fatalities were due to sepsis," Achmad said, referring to the condition when the human body responds to bacterial infection by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream that can also trigger damages on various internal organs. 

Ahmad refuses to name the country where the victim was from. 

Earlier he had said that the government has received formal requests from ambassadors of countries affected by the Covid-19 outbreak to disclose the origins of foreign patients treated here to avoid discrimination. 

"We've received complaints from one of the embassies because of discrimination against their citizens. They were yelled at, accused of being carriers of Covid-19," Achmad said. 

"But all the embassies were informed when a citizen of their country tested positive for the coronavirus. They have been able to communicate with the patients," Achmad said.