Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government plans to prepare several state-owned hotels and Wisma Atlet (athletes' residence) in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, to serve as COVID-19 emergency hospitals to treat those who contracted the new coronavirus, a minister stated.

During a video conference in Jakarta on Wednesday, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan spoke of having discussed the plan with Deputy State-Owned Enterprises Minister Kartika Wirjoatmodjo.

The government has readied several hospitals across Indonesia to treat people suspected of being symptomatic with COVID-19 and those testing positive for the disease.

Pandjaitan also lauded several state-owned enterprises' initiative to order rapid COVID-19 testing kits as part of their preventive measures amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the viral disease that the WHO has recently declared as a global pandemic.

"We do not want us to be like Italy. We do pray for that. Hence, I again call on all of us. Please, meet the healthcare protocols that we have announced," he remarked, adding that mainland China and South Korea could immediately contain the COVID-19 outbreak, partly due to their highly disciplined people.

In its endeavors to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has yet to include placing a lockdown in its options.

"Hence, please respect the government's directives," he stated.

The government has meticulously calculated all aspects in its decision-making process for taking the best decisions, he remarked.

Unlike Indonesia, the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines had activated their COVID-19 lockdown to contain the spread of the virus that has claimed over 8,900 lives and infected at least 218,900 people worldwide.

In response to this policy, the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, for instance, has urged Indonesians residing on Luzon Island to remain calm in response to the Philippines Government's decision to extend its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Philippine Government has guaranteed the availability of staple food stocks, so all Indonesians residing in affected areas need not panic, the embassy noted in a press statement.

ECQ and social distancing policies are being strictly applied in Luzon, the Philippines' largest and most populous island, from March 17 to April 13.


Related news: Government to prepare rapid test for coronavirus detection
Related news: Indonesia lockdown not an option yet: COVID-19 task force

Translator: Ade IJ, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Atman Ahdiat
Copyright © ANTARA 2020