Coronavirus: Indonesia confirms 13 more cases, bringing total to 19

A photo taken on March 5, 2020, shows a medical worker near an isolation room at Sulianti Saroso hospital in Jakarta, after Indonesia confirmed its first cases of coronavirus. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesia on Monday (March 9) recorded 13 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 19.

Two of the infected were foreigners, but their nationalities were not disclosed, while seven of the cases were imported, said Mr Achmad Yurianto, government spokesman for the Covid-19 situation.

He added that one case was more serious than all the others as the patient had pre-existing medical conditions.

Case 10 is a 29-year old male foreign national and case 11 is a 54 year-old female foreign national, Dr Achmad told a media briefing, adding that both, who are showing light to moderate conditions, were traced as contacts of case 1. He declined to disclose their nationalities.

Case 1, a 31-year-old Indonesian national, contracted the virus during a dance party in Jakarta in mid-February from a Japanese woman who also took part in the event and was declared positive for the virus in Malaysia in late February.

Case 1, along with her 64-year old mother, were confirmed positive last Monday. She also infected a 31-year-old man (case 12).

The six previously announced cases included one who had been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was held off Japan last month and had more than 700 people tested positive. All six have seen their condition improving.

Of the total 19 cases, only one patient is showing more serious conditions, termed as "moderate to severe", said Dr Achmad. The 56-year-old man, case 8, is receiving supplemental oxygen as he needs respiratory help and is on a drip. All the remaining cases are showing "light to moderate" conditions.

"Case 8 was infected by his wife, case 7. Case 8 had diabetes and had diarrhoea when he was infected," Dr Achmad said. Case 7, aged 59, just returned from an overseas trip, which makes it an imported case.

The six other imported cases comprised four men and two women ranging in age from 40 to 56.

Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous nation, stepped up its fight to contain the spread of the virus by banning the entry and transit of foreign visitors coming from 10 areas in Iran, Italy and South Korea worst-hit by the coronavirus from Sunday.

But travellers departing from any other areas in the three countries will be allowed entry if they produce a health certificate issued by the countries' respective health authorities that declare the travellers as healthy. The certificate must be presented to airlines during check-in.

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