Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is still facing a dearth of 1,500 doctors, including pulmonologists and anesthetists, and 2,500 nurses to assist health workers currently on the frontline in combating the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Coordinator of Volunteer Task Force for Accelerating the Handling of COVID-19 Andre Rahadian brought to light this critical requirement.

Rahadian pointed to Indonesia’s requirement for voluntary drivers and hospital administration workers to join this collective endeavor to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The task force has created a microsite on the National Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BNPB's) official website that is accessible to volunteers keen on partaking in this humanitarian mission, he stated during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

This volunteer task force collaborates with various associations, non-governmental organizations, and universities, he remarked, adding that doctors and nurses will be offering frontline assistance, while voluntary students would form the second frontline in this fight against the virus.

"Students will assist both psychological and medical consultations conducted telephonically and online," Rahadian, concurrently chairman of the University of Indonesia (UI) Alumni Association (ILUNI), remarked.

Registration will be open this week for volunteers.

"May Indonesians support the mission of this volunteer task force by registering themselves to become the warriors of humanity," he affirmed.
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As of Thursday, COVID-19 had spread to 27 provinces in Indonesia, with 893 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while death toll from this virus had reached 78, and 35 patients were discharged from hospitals.

Jakarta continues to record the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and death toll, while the Indonesian government's data indicated that East Java had 59 confirmed cases.

COVID-19, which initially struck in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019, has claimed some 24 thousand lives and infected no less than 510 thousand people in 195 nations and territories worldwide, according to media reports.

CNN reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US had reached at least 82 thousand or surpassed those of China and Italy, while the country's death toll from this deadly virus was recorded at no less than 1,195.

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

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Translator: Indriani, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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