32 dead of Covid-19 in Indonesia, 600,000 at risk

President Joko Widodo at a heat scan check recently. He has ordered massive rapid Covid-19 testing across Indonesia. (Bernama pic)

JAKARTA: More than 600,000 Indonesians are at risk of being infected with Covid-19 as 60 new cases were reported today, with the death toll rising to 32.

Achmad Yurianto, spokesman of the Indonesian authorities on Covid-19, said the number of positive cases had risen to 369 so far, and that it could spike drastically based on contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Indonesia has a population of more than 270 million people, with over 30 million living in Jakarta and cities nearby like Bekasi, Tangerang, Depok and Bogor.

“Up to 1pm today, there have been 32 deaths (an increase of seven) and a total of 369 positive cases, an increase of 60 new cases from yesterday,” he told a press conference today that was broadcast live.

Of the 32 deaths, 18 were recorded in Jakarta, West Jawa (7), Centra Jawa (3) and one each in Bai, Banten, East Jawa and North Sumatera.

“The population at risk (of infection) is about 600,000 to 700,000 people. We now have one million test kits to conduct large-scale testing,” he said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, via his official presidential website www.presiden.go.id today that the country would implement house-to-house “rapid tests” from this evening in the south Jakarta area.

The rapid test is meant as an early screening to see if a person has any symptoms of Covid-19.

Indonesian authorities will also convert the 15,000-capacity Wisma Atlet Kemayoran (2018 Asian Games Athletes’ Village) and a government-owned hotel into temporary hospitals or quarantine centres from Monday.