KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Indonesia reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, following mounting concern that the world’s fourth most populous country was failing to identify Covid-19 transmission.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo today said two patients tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently hospitalised, a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter.
Both had been in contact with a Japanese citizen who tested positive in Malaysia on February 27 after visiting Indonesia last month, international media reported.
“When we received information (about the Japanese citizen), a team in Indonesia immediately traced who the Japanese citizen met with,” Joko reportedly told reporters at the State Palace earlier today.
He said his administration was well-prepared to handle Covid-19 cases, noting that over 100 hospitals with isolation rooms have been prepared in this regard.
“We also have equipment that meets international standards,” he added.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, who was also at the State Palace, said that the two women were residents of Depok, West Java.
He said they are currently being treated at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jakarta, and noted that they are currently in stable condition.
Last month, Indonesia criticised a Harvard University study that questioned why Indonesia, a country with 272 million people, had not recorded any case of the coronavirus, despite its extensive air links to China, and Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak.
“They can be baffled but it’s a fact” there are no cases, Terawan reportedly said last month, according to The Jakarta Post. “I am just telling you like it is.”