The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Indonesia is ready to help China in overcoming the coronavirus disease, now named COVID-19, which has killed more than 1,100 people in the mainland since the virus started spreading in late December.
Jokowi confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that he had spoken in a phone call with Xi on Tuesday evening, during which the Indonesian leader expressed condolences for the victims who died from COVID-19 in China.
“I told [Xi] that Indonesia will always stand together with China through such hard times,” Jokowi said.
“I also said that Indonesia is ready to send assistance should [China] need any kind of necessary support to speed up the handling of [the COVID-19 outbreak],” he added.
Xinhua news agency previously reported that Xi had spoken over the phone with Jokowi on Tuesday night, during which the Chinese president gave an assurance that China would “win” the fight against the disease and that it was committed to implementing “the most rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures” to contain the outbreak.
Jokowi said he had told Xi during their conversation that Indonesia was confident that China could overcome the COVID-19 outbreak “as soon as possible”.
COVID-19, which is believed to have originated in a market selling wild animals in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed 1,113 in China and infected more than 44,600 people as of Wednesday, AFP reported.
The disease has spread to nearly 30 countries and killed two outside the mainland; one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.
Indonesia has evacuated 243 people from Wuhan and surrounding cities in Hubei province on Feb. 2 and airlifted them to Natuna in Riau Islands, where they have been placed in quarantine.
Jakarta has also imposed an indefinite travel ban to and from mainland China since Feb. 5, as well as a temporary halt in live animal imports from the country in an effort to prevent the deadly disease from spreading to the archipelago.
There have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia so far. (afr)