Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Monday (March 2) that two Indonesians had tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in the world’s fourth most populous country.
The two have been hospitalised, Mr Joko told reporters at the presidential palace in Jakarta. He did not specify where the patients were being treated.
Previously, Indonesia’s claim of being virus-free had raised several eyebrows as doubts persisted over the country’s effectiveness in monitoring and testing suspected cases.
As of Sat (Feb 29), Indonesia had tested 143 samples taken from people who had shown symptoms or had traveled to infected countries. All were reportedly negative.
However, the government did not test the 237 citizens and one American spouse of an Indonesian national who were evacuated from Wuhan and other cities in China after a 14-day quarantine in Natuna, Riau Islands.
The government claimed they had already been declared “virus-free” when leaving China, so it was unnecessary for them to be tested again.