"The media must be able to persuade the people to participate in spreading accurate and credible information on the COVID-19 itself," Head of the Indonesian Press Council Muhammad Nuh told journalists in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The public participation in dealing with the impact of this COVID-19 case was so important that the people at large could take correct preventive measures against the deadly virus, he said.
In selecting the news sources, the journalists are suggested to choose the credible ones based on the basic principles of ethical journalism to avoid them from disseminating disinformation on the COVID-19, Nuh said.
As the government works to deal with the impact of this COVID-19, the Communication and Informatics Ministry reports that from January to March 10, there were 187 novel coronavirus hoaxes in Indonesia.
The Indonesian government has put in place precautionary measures since the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak that first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019.
In addition to installing thermal scanners at the country's airports and seaports, as well as making preparations at hospitals across the archipelago, the Indonesian government repatriated several hundred citizens.
On February 2, 238 Indonesian nationals were airlifted from Wuhan, China, to then be quarantined in Natuna District's Riau Islands Province. All of these Indonesians were found to be healthy and reunited with their families.
The Indonesian government also repatriated 188 Indonesians employed as crew members of the cruise ship World Dream Liner, and 69 Indonesians employed as cabin crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The World Dream cruise ship's crew members and 69 cabin crew of the Diamond Princess had been sent to Sebaru Kecil Island, Jakarta's Thousand Islands, for a 14-day quarantine.
On March 2, 2020, President Jokowi declared that two Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19. They were quarantined in an isolated room at the Jakarta-based Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The deadly virus outbreak, which has spread to 109 countries and territories around the world, has claimed at least 4,000 lives – most of whom are in China – and infected over 113,000 people worldwide.
The Indonesian authority has reported that there have been 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases within the country, as of Tuesday.
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