Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono witnessed the departure of a truck laden with the ministry's aid packages in Jakarta on Thursday.
"The state budget funds are not utilized for providing these aid packages. The money collected for this caring and sharing program for the COVID-19-affected people is voluntarily donated by members of the ministry's big family," he stated.
The aid packages were testament to the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry's care for community members currently bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, he noted.
The move by the ministry's employees follows calls for mutual cooperation echoed earlier by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
In a recent statement, President Jokowi reiterated the significance of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong", or mutual cooperation, affirming that the government cannot work alone to fight the spread of coronavirus infections.
"The entire nation's participation is indispensable," President Jokowi declared in a video statement from the Bogor Presidential Palace on April 18.
"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 pointed out.
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.
The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.
Since then, the central and regional governments have made persistent efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve by imposing healthcare protocols and social restrictions.
To break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, large-scale social restrictions have been enforced in several cities, including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and Pekanbaru.
The central government has also banned homebound travel, locally known as "mudik", during the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Idul Fitri holiday season.
As of April 29, 2020, the government has recorded 9,771 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country. While 1,391 patients have been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery, 7,596 others remain hospitalized. The death toll from the virus has reached 784.
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