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Jakarta Post

Religious affairs minister tests positive for COVID-19

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 21, 2020   /   02:35 pm
Religious affairs minister tests positive for COVID-19 Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi attends a meeting with House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religious affairs on Sept. 8. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi has tested positive for COVID-19, an expert staff member to the minister announced Monday, adding to the list of public officials that have contracted the coronavirus.

“On Sept. 17, the religious affairs minister had taken a PCR test and the result came back positive,” Kevin Haikal said in a press statement on Monday.

"Thankfully, he is in good condition and has shown no worrying symptoms."

The ministry's spokesperson, Oman Fathurahman, said Fachrul had delegated his tasks to deputy minister Zainut Tauhid and other officials while he was recovering in isolation.

"The minister ordered [officials] to continue the ministry’s programs and services and to focus on COVID-19 prevention in educational and religious institutions," Oman said.

"He also asked officials to disburse [social] aid. All coordination for the ministry's programs will be carried out online," he added.

Read also: Indonesia's latest official COVID-19 figures
Oman further said access to the Religious Affairs Ministry building in Central Jakarta had also been restricted for several weeks. The ministry had also imposed a WFH policy that applied to most of its employees.


"We will optimize our online service system," he said.

There is no plan to shut down the office as of now, he added, however, the ministry planned to implement stricter access and health protocols.

Fachrul also advised the public to remain disciplined in following the health protocols, Oman said.

"Anybody could contract COVID-19, no exception. Let's be empathetic, support one another, and do our best to follow the health protocols," he said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Secretariat head Heru Budi Hartono rectified on Monday his claim that Fachrul had not met with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for one to two months.

"The religious affairs minister attended a Cabinet Meeting at the Presidential Palace on Sept. 7. I've checked, thanks for the correction," Heru said as quoted from kompas.com.

However, he said, prior to the meeting, all ministers had undergone PCR tests.

"At that time [Fachrul's] test result came back negative," he said.

Read also: Jakarta secretary Saefullah latest high-ranking official to die of COVID-19
Fachrul is the third minister to test positive for COVID-19.

In March, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi was treated at Gatot Subroto Central Regional Hospital in Jakarta for COVID-19.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo was also admitted to the ICU at the same hospital after contracting the virus earlier this month, Gerindra Party politician Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said.

Both ministers have made full recoveries.