“The transportation minister's condition has been getting better," said Special Staffer for Agency and Media Affairs at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Jodi Mahardi, during a telepress conference on Wednesday in Jakarta.
Mahardi said he believed the hospital authorities had even taken the 63-year-old minister off the ventilator. The minister was the 76th COVID-19 patient in Indonesia.
He appealed to the people to pray Minister Budi Karya Sumadi makes a full recovery so he can get back to work.
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The Indonesian government had confirmed on March 14 that Sumadi had tested positive for COVID-19. A cabinet minister, he had been in the frontline of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus, said Minister of State Secretary Pratikno.
"As you all know, the duties of the transportation ministry are often related to the handling of COVID-19 cases, such as evacuation and provision of other facilities, in which its officials get involved," he noted.
Minister Budi Karya Sumadi worked hard and was often directly involved in efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease in Indonesia, Pratikno said.
While Sumadi is in hospital, President Joko Widodo has assigned Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as the ad interim transportation minister.
Related news: President appoints Luhut as Ad Interim Transportation Minister
As of Wednesday, there are 790 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia. The death toll from the virus has so far reached 58.
COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, 2019, has killed at least 16,591 persons and infected no less than 384,432 persons in 195 countries and territories worldwide, according to media reports.
Taking into account the rising fatalities and the scale at which the virus has spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
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