Indonesia is open to accepting help offered by Singapore to fight COVID-19 infection, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (March 16) when speaking to reporters at the State Palace in Bogor.
Both countries, Indonesia and Singapore, have agreed to work together to fight the COVID-19 infection.
President Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, said that he had spoken by phone to Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, last week about the help. However, no further explanation was given as to what kind of help would be provided by Singapore to Indonesia.
A spokesman of the Singapore Foreign Minister confirmed this in response to media queries, saying that PM Lee had spoken with President Widodo on 11 March.
“Singapore has been in close touch with the relevant Indonesian ministries and agencies on the COVID-19 situation, including on the provision of medical equipment to Indonesia. The Singapore government has also contributed personal protective equipment to the Batam Health Office at its request,” said the spokesman.
Last Friday (13 March), local news site Kompas reported that Singapore’s Consul-General in Batam, Mark Low, handed over 50 hazmat shirts and 2 breathing apparatus to the Mayor of Batam, Muhammad Rudi, as an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the city.
An Indonesian government spokesman for COVID-19, Achmad Yurianto said that the increase in cases of coronavirus in Indonesia by 17 cases brings the total to 134 cases, with 5 dead as of 16 March. The additional 17 cases are; one person in West Java, one in Banten, one in Central Java and 14 in DKI Jakarta, according to reports by Merdeka.com.
Indonesia has established a national emergency situation, and closed all schools in Jakarta and some Indonesian regions for two weeks since Monday (16 March). Employees are also encouraged to work from home, and students are asked to study online. Those who wants to worship are advised to do so in their respective homes.