I am prioritizing rapid tests for regional leaders whose areas have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases
Bandung, W Java (ANTARA) - West Java Governor M. Ridwan Kamil said he has requested the mayors of Bekasi, Depok, and Bandung as well as the head of Bogor District to take the rapid COVID-19 test on Saturday.

The governor and his wife have tested negative for the deadly infection.

"I am prioritizing rapid tests for regional leaders whose areas have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases," Kamil said in a press statement to ANTARA in Bandung, the capital of West Java Province, on Saturday.

As West Java only has around 500 rapid test kits, the provincial administration is, at the moment, prioritizing community members classified as high risk, including those nursing people diagnosed with COVID-19.

"The rapid tests are being prioritized for those who have had social contact with patients, including persons with overseas travel records, those nursing people diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as those under surveillance and their relatives," he said.

The rapid testing would be extended to more people after the central government supplies more rapid test kits, Kamil said, adding that the West Java Health Laboratory facilities could be used to conduct the COVID-19 tests.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto has been placed under 14-day isolation at the city’s public hospital since Thursday evening after he tested positive for the virus.

Sugiarto received the result of his throat swab test on Thursday afternoon which confirmed he had contracted the virus, according to acting head of Bogor City Administration's Health Office, Sri Nowo Retno.

Sugiarto and four city government officials had undergone a medical checkup at the Bogor Senior Hospital on March 17, a day after they arrived from an official trip to Turkey and Azerbaijan, she said.

Their swab tests confirmed that the city mayor and one of the four city government officials had been infected with COVID-19, stated Retno, who is also the spokesperson for the Bogor City Administration's COVID-19 Emergency Response.

COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, 2019, has claimed the lives of at least 9,840 people and infected no less than 234,073 individuals in 176 countries and territories worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Indonesia, as of Friday, the virus had infected at least 369 people and claimed 32 lives, while 17 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals. The death rate in Indonesia is the highest among countries in Southeast Asia.

Taking into account the rising death toll and the spread of the virus, the WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

The Indonesian government has put in place precautionary measures since the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

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 has repatriated several hundred citizens. (INE)

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Translator: Ajat S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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