The Jakarta Post
South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah has defended his administration’s COVID-19 response in the wake of the recent surge in confirmed cases in the province, saying that the new cases were a result of widespread testing.
“The high number of positive cases shows that we’ve been working. It’s the result of mass testing, so that we can quickly take action [to assist] residents who have tested positive to break the chain of infection,” Nurdin said on Friday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
South Sulawesi has since leapfrogged West Java to become the province with the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 2,707 total cases as of Saturday, behind only East Java and Jakarta.
The province has recorded an average daily increase of 138 new cases in the past five days and recorded the second-highest daily increase on Saturday with 125 new cases, behind only East Java, which recorded 176 new cases.
The South Sulawesi provincial administration had previously caught flak for allowing over 8,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary movement, to gather for an international event held in Gowa regency despite calls for physical distancing amid the pandemic.
The mass gathering was designated a COVID-19 cluster as many confirmed cases across the country were linked to the event.
As of Saturday, South Sulawesi had reported 1,716 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths linked to the disease. (rfa)