Deputy governor Ahmad Riza Patria has tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns over the health and safety of other officials of the Jakarta administration who had been in direct contact with him, including Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.
In a statement published on the Jakarta administration’s website on Sunday, Ahmad had tested negative for the disease in two separate tests on Thursday, and then produced a positive test result on Friday. The Jakarta Health Agency’s contact tracing team deduced that the deputy governor most likely contracted COVID-19 from one of his private staffers,who had presumably caught the virus from a relative.
Anies had also taken a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test during the same period, according to the statement. His test result has not been released.
“Alhamdulillah [Praise be to God], although I tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, I am still in good condition. All my staffers and family members have also taken swab tests,” the statement quoted Ahmad as saying. The deputy governor was currently self-isolating to prevent further transmission of the disease.
According to the statement, Ahmad added that he expected his test result to serve as a public warning, and that people would always comply with the 3M health protocols of “Memakai masker, Menjaga jarak dan Mencuci tangan”: wear a mask, maintain distance and wash hands.
“Jakarta is not yet free of the COVID-19 pandemic. Do not hesitate to always remind each other of the 3M protocols,” Ahmad said in the statement.
The deputy governor reportedly attended one of the controversial public events to mark the repatriation of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab on Nov. 10.
A large gathering on Nov. 14 in Petamburan, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, to celebrate the wedding of Rizieq’s daughter and to commemorate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday caused a stir, as it attracted thousands of attendees who were seated closely together in a clear violation of physical distancing.
Meanwhile, Anies also met with Rizieq at the firebrand cleric’s residence in Petamburan on the day he arrived in Jakarta, purportedly to “catch up”. The governor was subsequently summoned and questioned by the Jakarta Police regarding the alleged health protocol violations that occurred during the Petamburan gathering.
On Nov. 24, Anies dismissed Central Jakarta Mayor Bayu Meghantara for failing to enforce the 3M protocols.