Indonesia shuts down several museums to contain COVID-19 spread

Indonesia shuts down several museums to contain COVID-19 spread

Inside Indonesia's textile museum (ANTARA/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Education and Culture Ministry has shut down services at several museums, galleries, and cultural heritages to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has claimed five lives in Indonesia.

"Several museums, galleries, and cultural heritages are shut down for the time being to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim remarked in a press statement made available to ANTARA here on Monday.

Restricting visitors to museums is part of the preventive measures that his ministry has adopted to contain the spread of this deadly virus in public areas, he remarked.

Despite this decision, the community members can gain access to several museums and sites in Indonesia through the platform of Google Arts and Culture owing to the ministry's recent cooperation with Google, he revealed.

The platform is being operated through a novel technology called the Art Camera and Google Cardboard. With the availability of this platform, the shutdown of museums over COVID-19 would not affect those keen on gaining information on Indonesia’s cultures, he stated.

The community members can also experience virtual reality through their smartphones through the use of Google Arts and Culture, he pointed out.

As of Sunday, COVID-19 had infected at least 117 people in several cities across Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bandung, Tangerang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Bali, Manado, and Pontianak.

Indonesia has become one of the countries whose citizens have contracted COVID-19. The Indonesian authorities have also declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as a national disaster.

The death toll from the virus has reached five, while eight COVID-19 patients have received discharge from hospitals while seven others are expected to recover soon.

On Saturday evening, the Indonesian government confirmed that Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi had tested positive for COVID-19, and he is 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 that has persistently and proactively been in the frontline in the government's handling of this virus, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno stated.

With Sumadi receiving hospital treatment, 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. Related news: Solo mayor declares emergency over coronavirus, shuts down schools
Related news: Indonesia's coronavirus cases jump to 117