JAKARTA: Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi was reportedly getting better, as he continued his treatment, after testing positive for Covid-19.
Budi, 63, was initially referred as case number 76 when he was admitted for medical treatment at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital here.
State Palace spokesman Fadjroel Rahman said two medical officers from the hospital confirmed that the minister’s health had improved when he was moved to a different ward last week, according to The Jakarta Post.
During an online discussion over the weekend, Fadjroel expressed hope that Budi would recover from the disease, considering his pivotal role in the government.
He said that in facing the pandemic, Budi was directly involved in the evacuation process of 238 Indonesians from Wuhan in China, as well as 257 Indonesians from the virus-stricken World Dream and Diamond Princess cruise ships.
The ministry’s spokeswoman Adita Irawati also confirmed that Budi was in stable condition.
“He’s getting better every day, but I can’t keep providing updates because I don’t receive his updates all the time.”
The government announced on March 14 that Budi, who had long suffered from asthma, had tested positive for Covid-19 and had been hospitalised.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was later appointed acting Transport Minister in Budi’s absence.
After Budi tested positive, President Joko Widodo and his cabinet were also tested for the disease. Jokowi announced earlier this week that he and his wife, Iriana Joko Widodo, had tested negative.
Meanwhile National Police chief General Idham Azis had issued an edict that action would be taken against people who conducted mass gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the order, dated March 19, Idham urged the public to refrain from organising mass gatherings in public places or private properties.
“If the situation is pressing and cannot be avoided, mass gatherings should be conducted with participants maintaining a safe distance from each other and they must follow the government’s Covid-19 prevention procedures.”
He also advised the public to refrain from stockpiling food and other basic necessities.
“Police officers are required to take the necessary action according to prevailing laws and regulations should they find any party violating this edict.”
Jokowi recently called on the public to work, study and worship from home to prevent a nationwide outbreak, but he stressed that the government was “not leaning toward issuing a lockdown policy”.