What we are doing this morning aims to ensure the state's presence in handling the impact of COVID-19 on our affected people in Jakarta
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government initiated the distribution of its aid packages to 1.2 million families in Jakarta currently bearing the brunt of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on Monday.

Social Affairs Minister Juliari P. Batubara, on behalf of President Joko Widodo, symbolically handed over the staple food aid packages in front of the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta.

"What we are doing this morning aims to ensure the state's presence in handling the impact of COVID-19 on our affected people in Jakarta," he noted in a press statement during a videoconference.
Furthermore, the government will distribute similar aid packages to some 600 thousand affected families in the cities and districts of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Tangerang Selatan, and Bekasi, he revealed, adding that the aid packages will be offered for a three-month period.

The Social Affairs Ministry joined hands with several partners, including state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia, to distribute those aid packages to the families severely affected by this deadly virus.

"We are optimistic that the families in dire need will receive all the aid packages," Batubara noted.

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The coronavirus disease initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, with a massive hike in the death toll.

This condition prompted the World Health Organization to declare it a global pandemic. Public health and economies in so many countries are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 infections spreading to all 34 provinces in Indonesia, President Jokowi has declared the coronavirus outbreak a national disaster.

In a bid to break the chains of this coronavirus transmission, several city, district, and provincial governments in Indonesia have also imposed large-scale social restriction measures.

Among the cities currently enforcing the restriction policies are Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi in West Java; Makassar in South Sulawesi; and Pekanbaru in Riau.

As of Sunday (April 19), Indonesia had 6,575 confirmed cases, while death toll from the virus had touched 582, whereas 686 patients received discharge from hospitals.

Currently, there are at least 176,344 people under monitoring and 12,979 patients under surveillance in Indonesia’s 34 provinces. Jakarta remains Indonesia's COVID-19 epicenter, with the highest number of confirmed cases.

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Translator: Indra AP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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