Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has expressed his gratitude to the doctors and medical team at Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital in Jakarta for their hard work and dedication in helping him recover from COVID-19.
Recalling his experience while receiving treatment at the hospital, Budi said if it was not for the medical team, he might have not survived.
“At the Transportation Ministry, seven people had tested positive for COVID-19 and we did not know where we got the virus from but I was the oldest at 63 years old,” he said in Jakarta on Monday, suggesting that his age made him more vulnerable to the disease.
“Thank God I’ve recovered. I’m quite grateful for the hospital and team of doctors who worked tirelessly to take care of me” said Budi said during a virtual press conference with the medical team of the hospital on Monday.
Budi said the hospital had a top-notch medical team. “The doctors are so kind and have a good personal approach, and I think this can be a good example for other hospitals, ” he added.
The deputy head of the hospital, Dr. Budi Sulistya, said the minister received treatment at the hospital from March 13 to March 31. “Thanks to the support of his family and the team of doctors, Pak Budi has recovered,” said Budi Sulistya.
“As of today, he has been tested twice for COVID-19 and based on the recovery criteria; he is now free from COVID-19. Pak Budi is under post-recovery treatment. With his current condition, he is able to work from home while under the monitoring and care of our doctors,” he said.
The minister self-isolated for 14 days at his home after being discharged from the hospital at the end of March. On Monday, the minister, for the first time, took part in a Cabinet meeting following his COVID-19 treatment. Budi said he would return to his official duties on May 5.
The government announced on March 14 that Budi, who has long suffered from asthma, had tested positive for COVID-19. Budi is the only Indonesian minister to have contracted COVID-19.
During Budi’s treatment, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan was appointed acting transportation minister.
Before the announcement that Budi had tested positive for COVID-19, the minister had been absent from a number of events. Prior to that, he had been on a number of official trips, including a visit to Kertajati Airport in West Java and Luwu and Toraja in South Sulawesi. He was also active in the evacuation of Indonesian crew members from the virus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess on March 2.
Dr. Ketty Herawati Sultana, 60, among doctors who treated Minister Budi when he was taken to Meistra Hospital in Jakarta in mid-March, died from COVID-19 on April 4.
The minister was diagnosed as having typhoid fever when he was treated at the hospital. Dr. Ketty and several other medical personal contracted COVID-19 soon after treating him.
The minister was then transferred to the army hospital for further treatment.