The first two cases of Covid-19 infection were confirmed in Indonesia following two Indonesians being tested positive for the coronavirus, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday (2 March).
The two infected patients—a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter—were said to be exposed to a Japanese citizen who tested positive in Malaysia on 27 Feb after visiting Indonesia in early February.
As reported in The Jakarta Post, the country’s president told the media that the government had immediately traced people who were exposed to the infected Japanese citizen after the case was reported.
“We checked [the two people] and this morning I received a report from the health minister that they tested positive for the coronavirus,” the country’s president said.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said, “The Japanese citizen was a friend of the patients’ family and had visited their house earlier,” adding that the two patients are currently being treated at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Suroso) in Jakarta.
Speaking on their current situation, Mr Putranto added, “Both are in good condition…they don’t have serious breathing difficulties.”
Mr Joko said that Indonesia was well-prepared in handling Covid-19 cases as they have prepared over 100 hospitals with isolation rooms with good isolation standards as well as equipment that meets international standards.
Last month (27 Feb), Mr Putranto told the media that the absence of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indonesia is a “blessing from the Almighty” as the result from a number of test samples have shown negative for the coronavirus in Indonesia at the time.
While the day before, a Singaporean man died in Batam after reportedly having fever and breathing difficulties–coronavirus-like symptoms, though the local health authorities said this was not due to COVID-19 but “another illness”.
Currently, the coronavirus death toll passed 3,000 on Monday, with 59 countries around the world being affected by the coronavirus outbreak so far according the World Health Organisation’s situation report on 1 March.
The World Health Organization said Sunday that the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illness.
The agency noted that most people with the COVID-19 illness only experience mild symptoms, while around 14 percent suffer severe disease like pneumonia and five percent become critically ill.