Asia

Indonesia President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana test negative for coronavirus

JAKARTA – President Joko Widodo and his wife, First Lady Iriana, on Thursday (March 19) announced that they had tested negative for Covid-19, the coronavirus disease which has claimed 25 lives and infected 309 in the world’s fourth-most populous nation.

In a video posted on YouTube, Mr Joko, popularly called Jokowi in Indonesia, said: “Four days ago, Madam Iriana and I took Covid-19 tests and the results were handed over yesterday.

“Alhamdulillah (thank God), we were declared negative.”

In his message, he reminded Indonesians to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by studying, working and worshipping at home.

In the clip, he also thanked health workers.

“On behalf of the Indonesian people, state and nation, I would like to thank and express my highest appreciation to the doctors and nurses, and hospitals, who are working hard with full dedication in serving and treating Covid-19 patients.

“I hope all are granted good health.”

Indonesian ministers had from last Saturday taken the Covid-19 test at Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital in Central Jakarta after Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi tested positive for the disease earlier.

Following the tests, a number of the leaders including State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny Plate, and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil, declared publicly that they had tested negative.

As part of the country’s social distancing regime, Mr Joko started teleconference meetings from early this week.

On Monday, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung posted on his Instagram account a screenshot of a meeting involving 41 Cabinet members and the President.

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