Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opined that every country has its own inimitable character and culture, so physical distancing is more suitable than a lockdown for Indonesia to handle the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Some people have raised questions on why we do not choose the lockdown policy. I need to say that every country has a different character, culture, and discipline, so we do not choose that path," he stated at the Merdeka Palace here on Tuesday while chairing a limited cabinet meeting themed "The President's Directive to the Governors in Facing the COVID-19 pandemic."

Vice President, Ma'ruf Amin, Indonesian cabinet ministers, and 34 Indonesian governors across Indonesia participated in the teleconference.

Jokowi confirmed to having received reports and analysis submitted by Indonesian ambassadors worldwide to the Foreign Affairs Ministry on the countries' responses and policies toward the coronavirus outbreak.

The head of state gave weightage to the practice of maintaining physical distance between individuals for Indonesia.

"Hence, the most pertinent way forward for our country is to adopt physical distancing measures. If we can do that, I am certain we can prevent the spread of COVID-19," he stated.

The president emphasized that being disciplined and decisive were paramount for following the practice of social distancing.

A total of 579 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Indonesia, as of Monday (Mar 23), with 500 people receiving medical care, 30 people being cured, and 49 people having died.

Some 353 coronavirus cases were found in Jakarta; 59 in West Java; 56 in Banten; 41 in East Java; 15 in Central Java; 11 in East Kalimantan; five each in Yogyakarta and Riau Islands; six in Bali; three in Southeast Sulawesi; two each in North Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, and Papua; and one each in Riau, Jambi, Lampung, South Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Maluku, and North Maluku. Related news: Indonesia lockdown not an option yet: COVID-19 task force
Related news: Indef lays greater weightage to social distancing over lockdown


Translator: Desca LN, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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