Viruses don’t care whether you’re rich or poor, peasant or political elite. And amid the COVID-19 outbreak that has now been declared a pandemic around the world, that’s being proven true yet again.
According to Breitbart, Indonesia’s transportation minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, recently tested positive for the coronavirus. He is now receiving treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) of an army hospital in the country’s capital city of Jakarta, Breitbart reported.
According to a hospital spokesperson, Sumadi had been experiencing some trouble breathing, but his condition has since improved.
An outbreak in Indonesia
As transportation minister, Sumadi is tasked with managing part of Indonesia’s efforts at combating the global pandemic, including efforts to evacuate as many Indonesians as possible from the country’s hardest-hit regions.
It is unclear when and how Sumadi contracted the virus himself, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered his other top advisers to be tested, according to Breitbart.
According to a government spokesperson, COVID-19 is sweeping Indonesia quickly. The Southeast Asian nation has gone from seeing zero cases to having at least 96 confirmed infections in two weeks, the spokesperson noted, according to Breitbart.
Five people have died in the country from COVID-19 thus far, according to The Jakarta Post. The deaths have come amid questions over whether tests currently available for the disease are accurate.
Containing the spread
The outbreak in Indonesia, which initially centered in and around Jakarta, has since spread to other locations across the country and prompted the formation of a special task force in an attempt to prevent further spread.
Jakarta’s governor announced over the weekend that all schools would be closed on Monday for at least the next two weeks, as would all city-owned tourist attractions.
What’s more, while the city itself isn’t going to be on lockdown, per se, the governor has urged residents to “be responsible” and practice social distancing whenever possible to mitigate the risk of additional infections. Other areas of the nation have since followed suit.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated Indonesia as a “high-risk” nation amid the outbreak of the disease, according to Breitbart, and the country isn’t exactly known for its health care system.
With this in mind, the WHO and Indonesia’s government recently agreed to “scale up cooperation” in their coronavirus containment efforts, Breitbart reported, a decision that was likely bolstered by the transportation minister’s recent diagnosis.