News analysis

Is Indonesia's healthcare system ready to deal with an outbreak?

News that two women had become the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Indonesia seemed to bring both relief and anxiety to a country which until yesterday had reported zero infections since the outbreak in China last December.

For over two months, Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and senior leaders had assured citizens that the country was virus-free, even as the disease made its way across the globe, infecting more than 89,000 people in over 60 countries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2020, with the headline 'Is Indonesia's healthcare system ready to deal with an outbreak?'. Print Edition | Subscribe