Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesians should foster the spirit of "gotong royong," or mutual cooperation, in their daily lives to enable the nation win the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a cabinet member stated.

"It is time for us all to strengthen our mutual cooperation (gotong royong), to assist one another, and to offer solutions. Stop complaining and blaming one another," State Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir posted his message on his Instagram account on Friday.

Thohir believes it is time to do good deeds to save the nation, right from the smallest things, including authorities responsible for the well-being of neighborhoods, cities, districts, and provinces, in a collective endeavor to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Media workers can play their role in helping remind authorities at all levels of the criticality of adopting preventive and curative measures in their respective areas.

"COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, and we, as a nation, have the strength to get through this challenging time as long as we stand united and practice mutual cooperation," Thohir emphasized.

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.

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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.

Amid its ongoing efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, 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 virus.

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

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.

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Translator: Zubi M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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