Indonesia confirms first cases of coronavirus
JAKARTA : Two Indonesians have tested positive for the coronavirus after coming into contact with an infected Japanese national, President Joko Widodo said yesterday, marking the first confirmed cases in the world's fourth-most populous country.
The discovery comes after some medical experts had raised concerns about a lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the country of more than 260 million people, while the authorities have defended screening processes.
A 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter had become infected after contact with a female Japanese visitor, who lived in Malaysia and had tested positive after returning from a trip to Indonesia, Mr Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace.
"After checks, they were in a sick state. This morning, I got a report that the mother and the daughter tested positive for coronavirus," he said.
The pair were being treated at Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The Japanese national was a friend of the women's family and had visited their house in Depok on the outskirts of Jakarta, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said.
The authorities were checking who else she may have come into contact with.
The daughter and the Japanese woman had gone dancing at a venue in Jakarta on Feb 14, Mr Terawan said. The Japanese national had informed the daughter on Feb 28 that she had been infected.
Two other people sharing the house with the infected Indonesians had not shown symptoms of Covid-19, he added.
Mr Terawan reiterated that Indonesia was following World Health Organisation standards on testing for the virus.
Meanwhile, Mr Wimboh Santoso, head of the Financial Services Authority, urged investors to remain calm amid outflows tied to the global coronavirus outbreak and said measures were in place to prevent a stock market tumble.- REUTERS