The Jakarta Post
Bengkulu recorded its first COVID-19 death on Tuesday after a 50-year-old resident of South Lampung regency in Lampung, identified only as NS, died at Muhammad Yunus Regional General Hospital in Bengkulu.
NS was admitted to the hospital on March 24 after showing COVID-19 symptoms. He was being monitored for the coronavirus prior to his death.
“The hospital obtained on Monday evening the patient’s test results of his sample, which showed that the patient tested positive for COVID-19. NS died at 7:30 a.m. [on Tuesday],” Bengkulu Governor Rohidin Mersyah said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
NS was part of a congregation holding an Islamic mass gathering in Gowa, South Sulawesi, from March 19 to 22. He returned to Bengkulu on March 20 and stayed in At-Taqwa Grand Mosque in the city.
“Starting today [Tuesday], we declare a state of emergency in Bengkulu,” the governor said.
Rohidin urged the Bengkulu mayor, as well as the police and military, to isolate congregation members staying at At-Taqwa Mosque and restrict people from entering the mosque. He also ordered Bengkulu city’s COVID-19 task force to track down and test all people suspected of having had direct contact with the patient.
“I want to break the chain of COVID-19 transmissions. I’m asking all regencies and cities to track all congregation members in their respective regions as most parts of Sumatra Island have become COVID-19 red zones,” the governor said.
The Bengkulu city administration has allocated Rp 200 billion (US$12 million) of its budget for COVID-19-related matters. It also took several measures to curb the spread of the disease, including closing schools until April 12 and ordering pregnant and breastfeeding civil servants to work from home.
The administration also instructed the city-owned tap water company not to charge low-income households.
The government reported 1,528 confirmed cases nationwide, with 136 deaths and 81 recovered cases as of Tuesday. The virus has spread to 32 of the country's 34 provinces, leaving Gorontalo and East Nusa Tenggara as the only regions with no confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Bengkulu’s neighbor, Jambi, had two confirmed COVID-19 patients on Tuesday. Jambi’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson, Johansyah, said two patients who were being monitored tested positive and were receiving treatment at M. Thalib Hospital in Kerinci regency, Jambi.
Jambi health authorities were monitoring 1,000 for COVID-19 as of Tuesday.
In Surakarta, Central Java, three people being treated at Moewardi General Hospital tested negative for COVID-19.
“These people are still required to be in self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days to make sure that they are fully healthy,” Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo said on Monday, urging residents not to discriminate against them.
Surakarta’s COVID-19 task force chief, Ahyani, said at least three Surakarta citizens had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday. Two of them died of the disease, while one recovered. (aly)