The House observes that the government has been working hard to handle and prevent the spread of this virus
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The House of Representatives (DPR) appealed to the government to engage experts in contemplating on imposing a lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID) amid confirmed spike in COVID-19 cases.

"We call on the government to conduct regular evaluation by inviting experts to give serious thought to implementing a lockdown if necessary," Deputy House Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad noted in a response to the current COVID-19 cases here on Monday.

The Indonesian authorities have also declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as a national disaster, he stated, adding that several countries had conducted massive isolation or imposed a lockdown in certain cities to halt the spread of this deadly virus, he remarked.

The Indonesian government has yet to apply the lockdown policy despite the increasing number of people confirmed to have been infected. As of Sunday, there were 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

The death toll from COVID-19 has reached five, while eight patients have been discharged from hospitals, and seven others are expected to recover soon, Ahmad noted.

"The House observes that the government has been working hard to handle and prevent the spread of this virus," he remarked.

The government's commitment and hard work, for instance, is apparent from the establishment of the coronavirus desk/task force, headed by Doni Monardo of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency and the drafting of a coronavirus protocol, he pointed out.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia has jumped to at least 117, with the virus spreading to several regions, including Jakarta, Bandung, Tangerang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Bali, Manado, and Pontianak.

The new cases came to light after the government conducted massive contact tracing.

On Saturday evening, the Indonesian government confirmed that Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi had tested positive for the COVID-19 and was currently undergoing treatment at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, Jakarta.

Sumadi, the 76th COVID-19 patient in Indonesia, is a minister in the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin administration and had intensively been on the frontline in the government's handling of this virus, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno stated.

Even as Sumadi undergoes treatment at the hospital, President Joko Widodo has assigned Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to serve as the ad interim transportation minister, he remarked.

In the meantime, as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, the Indonesian Government strives to handle the rising number of patients, with schools in certain cities in the country being ordered by the provincial and city governments to shut down for 14 days.

The leader of Daarut Tauhid Islamic Boarding School, Abdullah Gymnastiar (Aa Gym), had also shut down the school in optimizing an endeavor to contain the spread of this virus.

Daarut Tauhid has decided to suspend teaching and learning activities at the boarding school, he noted on his social media account that ANTARA observed on Saturday.

Despite the temporary closure of the Islamic boarding school, located in the Geger Kalong area of Bandung, the capital of West Java Province, Aa Gym urged the boarding school's santris (students) to continue their studies at home during the 14-day closure. Related news: Disinfection chamber becomes functional at Presidential Palace's gate

Related news: COVID-19 test result of Indonesian Vice President comes back negative


Translator: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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