Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - South Kalimantan Governor Sahbirin Noor made impromptu visits in the provincial capital Banjarmasin early on Friday to distribute aid packages to residents reeling under the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

As Muslim residents in Banjarmasin prepared their first "sahur" (pre-dawn meal) of Ramadhan early on Friday, they were surprised by a visit from the Governor, who knocked on their doors to hand over relief packages.

Noor, popularly called Uncle Birin, left his residence on R Suprapto Street in Antasan Besar neighborhood of Banjarmasin Tengah around 02.30 a.m. local time and first visited families living around the Pekauman Street of Banjarmasin Selatan.

Thereafter, he continued the distribution of aid packages in some other neighborhoods of the city.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck South Kalimantan Province, Noor has been making frequent visits to those affected severely by the deadly virus.

The Governor said the coronavirus pandemic has weakened the purchasing power of many community members, and for this reason, he has decided to lead relief efforts.

The Governor has been distributing aid to affected families early morning almost everyday.

The Governor’s efforts to help people amid the COVID-19 crisis have earned him praise from community members.

Syahran, head of the Amanda Housing complex in Karang Mekar neigborhood, said the Governor's impromptu visits have raised the spirits of residents who have lost a significant chunk of their income owing to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy.

Muhammad Hatta, a resident of Landasan Ulin neighborhood in Kota Banjarbaru, prayed for the good health of the Governor and his family, stating he has offered meaningful assistance.

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 spurt in death toll.

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

To break the chain of the coronavirus outbreak, several city, district, and provincial governments in Indonesia have imposed large-scale social restrictions.

As of April 23, 2020, Indonesia has recorded 7,775 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while the death toll from the virus has reached 647, and as many as 960 patients have recovered from the infection. (INE)


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Translator: Ulul M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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