JAKARTA: Indonesia announced six more COVID-19 deaths on Thursday (Mar 19), taking the death toll to 25, a health ministry official said.
This is the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia.
“There are five new deaths in Jakarta and one in Central Java,” Mr Achmad Yurianto, the government’s spokesperson for the COVID-19 pandemic, said at a press conference.
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The highest number of fatalities was in the capital Jakarta with 17 deaths.
A total of 82 new cases were reported, taking the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia to 309.
Most of them – 210 cases – were in Jakarta.
The spokesman added that 15 people have recovered and may be discharged from hospitals.
The fatality rate is 8 per cent, Mr Yurianto said.
Most of the fatalities were aged 45 to 65 and had pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart disease and chronic obstructive lung disease.
Mr Yurianto said Indonesia is preparing to do massive screening for COVID-19 but did not give details on when this will be implemented.
Separately, Jakarta's governor Anies Baswedan announced Thursday that all mass religious gatherings at places of worships will be suspended for the next two weeks.
This will include Friday prayers and Sunday masses.
"We will review this policy after two weeks," Mr Baswedan said.
Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo said that he and his wife have been tested negative for COVID-19.
"Mdm Iriana and I have carried out the Covid-19 test four days ago, and the test results have been released. Thank God we have been declared negative," said Mr Widodo.