Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on government officials to ensure sufficient supply of medical devices, such as ventilators and personal protective gear (APD) for medical personnel, to handle COVID-19 patients.

"Thoroughly check the supply of ventilators and protective equipment. Do not allow anyone to complain of a shortage," the president emphasized during a limited meeting of the COVID-19 Task Force Team Report held via video teleconference from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Monday.

The head of state also highlighted the need to expand the scope of examination employing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, so that the examination of patient specimens is not pending, especially in the epicenter area of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Currently, the PCR method has been employed to examine 26,500 specimens to detect novel coronavirus infection, though the president is eyeing at least 10 thousand examinations using the PCR method on a daily basis.

"Hence, I truly laud the procurement of 18 PCR test equipment by the Ministry of SOEs. The devices can be installed in this week," he stated.

The president surmised that if each device can be deployed to conduct 500 checks a day, then nine thousand specimens can be examined daily by using up to 18 PCR test equipment.

Achmad Yurianto, the government's spokesperson for the COVID-19 response, noted that Indonesia had earlier recorded 4,241 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while 359 patients recovered and 373 died of the novel coronavirus infection as of Sunday.

"Thus, with 399 new confirmed cases, the number of positive cases reaches 4,241," he told the press here on Sunday.

The number of patients recovering from the disease increased by 73 during the course of the last 24 hours, since Saturday noon until Sunday noon, while the death toll rose by 46.

"We are grateful that at least 359 patients have recovered until now. It boosts our optimism that COVID-19 can be cured," he affirmed.

On Saturday, Apr 11, the number of COVID-19 positive cases had reached 3,842, with 286 patients having recovered, and 327 dying of the virus.

Jakarta is the province that still ranks the highest in terms of the number of COVID-19 positive patients, reaching 2,044, as of April 12, followed by West Java, with 450 positive cases; while 386 cases in East Java, 281 in Banten, 222 in South Sulawesi, and 200 in Central Java.

According to data of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response, other provinces with confirmed cases comprised Aceh, with five cases; 81 in Bali; four each in Bangka Belitung, Bengkulu, and Jambi; 41 in Yogyakarta; 13 in West Kalimantan; 35 in East Kalimantan; 24 in Central Kalimantan; 34 in South Kalimantan; 16 in North Kalimantan; 21 in Riau Islands; 37 in NTB; 21 in South Sumatra; 44 in West Sumatra; 17 in North Sulawesi; 65 in North Sumatra; 16 in Southeast Sulawesi; and one case each in NTT and Gorontalo.

Meanwhile, Central Sulawesi had 19 confirmed cases; Lampung, 20 cases; Riau, 16 cases; North Maluku, two cases; Maluku, 11 cases; West Papua, three cases; Papua, 63 cases; and West Sulawesi, five cases.

The Indonesian government has imposed a large-scale social distancing (PSBB) measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Related news: President calls to expedite lab examinations for COVID-19 detection
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Reporter: Rangga Pandu, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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