Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Jakabaring Athletes' House (Wisma Atlet) in Palembang, currently functioning as South Sumatra Province's center for treatment of people with the COVID-19 monitoring status (ODP), has received eight Bangladeshi nationals and three Sri Lankans.

These foreign nationals were members of the Jamaah Tabligh, who were in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province, to gain a broader understanding of Islam over these past three months, Head of the Jakabaring ODP Center Aufa Syahrizal informed journalists here, Monday.

The foreign nationals told the local authorities that their respective governments' lockdown policies had hindered their return to the countries of origin, according to Syahrizal.

To prevent them from venturing outdoors for ensuring the safety of all, they were quarantined at the ODP Center, Syahrizal noted, adding that currently, the ODP Center had accommodated 34 people with ODP status.

Akin to several other big cities in Indonesia, the authorities in Palembang, South Sumatra, have also been battling the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan by the end of 2019 and since then spread to various countries across the world.

According to media reports, as of April 27, at least 2.99 million people had contracted the COVID-19 infection, while 206,992 of them succumbed to the disease, and 878,820 others fully recovered.

Indonesia recorded at least 8,882 confirmed cases, while death toll from the virus reached 743, and 1,107 patients were discharged from hospitals after fully recovering from coronavirus that had severely impacted the economies of so many countries.

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

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In a recent statement, President Jokowi stressed on the criticality of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong," or mutual cooperation, on grounds that the government cannot work singlehandedly to fight the spread of COVID-19.

"The entire nation's participation is indispensable," President Jokowi declared in a video statement from the Bogor Presidential Palace on April 18.

The current situation has left people ill at ease. However, with the spirit of "gotong royong", Indonesia would be able to overcome the current crisis, the head of state affirmed while urging citizens to uphold the spirit of mutual cooperation across the country by helping one another.

"The caring and sharing movement must be made public. This is not aimed at showing off, but at keeping hopes alive and inspiring others to do the same good deeds," he stated.
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Translator: Ujang I, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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