Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia discharged from hospitals after making complete recovery from the virus that initially struck Wuhan City, China, at 2019-end has exceeded the death toll figure, a government official confirmed.

As of Saturday, 631 patients had fully recovered from COVID-19, while the deadly virus had claimed 535 lives, spokesman of the Indonesian Government's Accelerated Handling of COVID-19 Task Force Achmad Yurianto stated.

While drawing reference to the Indonesian Health Ministry's data during a regular press conference here on Saturday, Yurianto noted that the total number of confirmed cases had reached 6,248.

"We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. Hence, please let us all participate in the efforts to curtail the spread of the virus by implementing the government's calls to stay at home, practice social distancing, and wear face masks," he remarked.

The spokesman revealed that the task force had, so far, examined 45,378 clinical specimens for coronavirus at 35 laboratories, while the total number of cases examined had reached 39,422.

Indonesia’s 34 provinces, has 176,344 cases of people under monitoring and 12,979 patients under surveillance, he stated. He called for the need to thoroughly monitor all patients under surveillance.

Jakarta remains the epicenter for COVID-19 cases in Indonesia owing to its highest number of confirmed cases. As of Saturday, the capital city had 2,924 confirmed cases of which 205 had recovered, while 253 others had died from the virus.

In the face of the grim reality of COVID-19 infection having spread to all 34 provinces in the country, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a national disaster.

President Jokowi accorded national disaster status to the ongoing pandemic in a letter number 12/2020, dated April 13, 2020, which highlighted several points, including the appointment of head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Doni Monardo, to lead the COVID-19 task force.

The Task Force for the Accelerated Handling of COVID-19 will work on mitigating the impact of the pandemic through coordinated efforts with the concerned ministries, government agencies, and regional administrations, according to the letter.

The letter has also named governors, district heads, and city mayors as the heads of the COVID-19 task forces in their respective regions. While drawing up regional policies, they will be required to refer to the policies formulated by the central government.

In breaking the chain of this virus outbreak, Jakarta and several other cities in Indonesia have imposed large-scale social restrictions and distancing measures.

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Translator: Asep F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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