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Jakarta Post

Indonesia's COVID-19 death toll climbs to four while cases jump to 69

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 13, 2020   /   06:56 pm
Indonesia's COVID-19 death toll climbs to four while cases jump to 69 A test tube with a coronavirus label is pictured on Jan. 29. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

The number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia has doubled to 69 with the confirmation of 35 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, its highest jump to date, as the death toll from the disease climbs to four.

The new fatalities included Case 35 and Case 36, a 57-year-old and a 37-year-old woman, both of whom succumbed to the disease on Thursday after being admitted to Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jakarta in poor condition, Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention director-general Achmad Yurianto said on Friday.

The test results for Case 35 and 36 came back positive for COVID-19 on Friday, and the central government has handed over the results to the local health administration to trace others who may have been exposed, he said.

In addition, a 50-year-old man identified as Case 50, died after his condition quickly deteriorated, Yurianto said, adding that local health authorities were tracing his close contacts.

Yurianto, who is the government's spokesman for COVID-19, said that all of the new cases announced on Friday were identified through the tracing of close contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases over the past two days.

“This data is the result of contact tracing over the last two days that was reported by local [authorities] as of this afternoon,” Yurianto told journalists on Friday.

The new cases, Cases 35 to 69, vary in terms of age and gender, with the eldest being two 80-year-old women identified as Case 38 and Case 69.

They also included a 2-year-old boy known as Case 54 – the youngest patient to have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country to date – and a 3-year-old boy, identified as Case 49. 

“The 2 and 3-year-old [patients] were [identified] through contact tracing. Their parents contracted the disease, and it was transmitted to them,” Yurianto said.

The government announced on Wednesday the death of Indonesia's first COVID-19 patient, a 53-year-old British woman identified as Case 25.

As new cases continue to be confirmed, the government has decided that tests for COVID-19 may be conducted in environmental, health and technology centers (BTKL), the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and other institutions that have the proper facilities, Yurianto said.

“Contact tracing is the most important thing that we need to do quickly to identify, locate and isolate positive cases so that [the disease] won't spread further in the community,” he added.