Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - The biggest city in the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Medan, has been classified as a "red zone" area of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, North Sumatra Provincial Administration Secretary Sabrina stated.

Speaking during a videoconference from Medan on Friday with the Home Ministry's Acting Secretary General Hadi Prabowo on the latest developments pertaining to the handling of COVID-19, she said two other red zone areas in North Sumatra were Deli Serdang District and Tanjung Balai City.

The provincial administration categorized Medan, Deli Serdang, and Tanjung Balai as red zones partly since they were North Sumatra's main ports of entry and exit; their huge populations; and their high mobility of people, Sabrina expounded.

The local authorities have also classified other remaining districts and cities across North Sumatra as yellow and blue zones.

Six districts and cities belong to the yellow zone that function as buffer zones for returning Indonesian migrant workers, while 24 others are classified as blue zones or relatively safe areas, she remarked.

The coronavirus that initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 has spread to various provinces in Indonesia.

As of Saturday, the country has had 2,092 confirmed cases, while death toll from this virus has reached 191, and 150 patients were discharged from hospitals.

Of the total confirmed cases, 25 were found in North Sumatra, while the death toll was recorded at three.

In dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, the North Sumatra COVID-19 Response Task Force has readied 11 hospitals as a precautionary measure against a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the province.

Spokesman for the North Sumatra COVID-19 Task Force Aris Yudhariansyah stated that the provincial government had also distributed some four thousand rapid test kits to all district and city health offices as well as hospitals serving as the first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has also distributed personal protective equipment among medical workers to prevent their exposure to the virus, he remarked, adding that the hospital authorities need to pay attention to the management of COVID-19-related waste and garbage, so that they would not become a source of the contagious disease. Related news: Ministry proposes soft loans for SMEs affected by COVID-19 pandemic

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Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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