COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

Reported by Muhammad Thohawi Elziyad Purnama

Outbreak Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) has been an important issue since the end of 2019. The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances, with a grand total confirmed positive cases of 2,340,856 and total deaths of 160,903 as of April 19, 2020[1]. COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia began with the findings of two positive people in Depok, West Java who confirmed the disease on March 2, 2020. The results of the track record turned out to be the two patients working as artists who had contact with foreign citizens. As of April 18, 2020, there had been 6,248 positive cases of COVID-19 with 631 (10.1%) recovered and 535 (8.6%) dead [2]. In particular, the incidence in Surabaya City of 270 positive people was confirmed with 45 (16.7%) recovered and 29 (10.7%) dead [3]. The incident rate makes Indonesia the highest country in COVID-19 confirmed cases in ASEAN countries and ranked 11th in Asia [1].

Meanwhile, The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia divides people suspected of COVID-19 into several status levels, i.e.:

a. Patients under surveillance with criteria for people with acute respiratory infections, i.e. fever (≥38°C); accompanied by one of the symptoms/signs of respiratory disease: cough, dyspnea, flu, or mild to severe pneumonia and there are no other causes based on clinical symptoms and in the last 14 days before the symptoms have a history of travel or living in the country/region reporting local transmission and has a history of contact with confirmed COVID-19 people.

b. People in monitoring, i.e. experiencing a fever (≥38°C); or symptoms of respiratory system disorders such as flu, sore throat, or cough and there are no other causes based on convincing clinical symptoms and in the last 14 days before symptoms occur to have a history of travel or living in a country/region that reports local transmission and has a history of contact with cases COVID-19 confirmation [4].

Based on these criteria there were reported as many as 12,979 patients under surveillance and 176,344 in monitoring [5].

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia has determined COVID-19 as a national disaster and issued a policy to implement large-scale social restrictions in several provinces with the most confirmed cases, including Jakarta, West Java and some regions or districts with massive numbers. All places that allow many people to gather, such as large markets, supermarkets, schools, universities, and offices were temporarily closed. Only people with specific or alternately scheduled tasks are allowed to work. In fact, mosques, churches, and temples are also temporarily closed so that all people worship from their respective homes. It all aims to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19. The government did not make a Lockdown decision to protect the economic situation for the middle-class people. Some economic activities, public transportation, public access, food stores, and logistics transfers were given a partial permit. The policy was followed by mandatory wearing masks every time he left the house, applying physical distancing, frequent hand washing, disinfection in public facilities and campaigns to better stay at home. The government has established 132 referral hospitals for positive patients confirmed COVID-19. The government is also increasing the rapid test activity followed by PCR for high-risk people such as doctors, nurses, patients' families and people who have been in contact with patients. The social policy was also taken by the government by preparing a budget of 405 trillion rupiahs or 26 billion dollars for medical devices, drugs, renovation of hospitals and aid for the lower class economic community [6].

Fig 1. Rapid test of people under surveillance

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, our country with a high population and diverse conditions of society is indeed very difficult to implement the command to discipline not to leave the house. The economic aspects of people with the lower middle economic class must be considered so that the lockdown policy is not taken. Even the large-scale social restriction policy has made a very significant change in people's behavior due to it is typical of Indonesian people who are high in socializing and gathering. The COVID-19 pandemic also provides lessons on how important it is to maintain a clean lifestyle, a balanced nutritional diet, to respect the time to work professionally, to worship and to appreciate the time available with family, friends, and colleagues. The government carefully calculates how to restore the economic situation, fiscal policy, price control, control of the rupiah exchange rate, restore tourism potential after the pandemic ends, maintain the quality of health services, open new jobs for unemployment, and humanitarian social assistance. The government has even officially controlled the potential for people to gather during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. All aspects have been thought by the government so that the pandemic will end soon.

Fig 2. Physical distancing at one of the public facilities offices

During the COVID-19 situation, I carried out activities from home according to the policy of the University. All my teaching activities are done with Zoom meetings and online examinations using the university application platform. Research activities are very limited, only a few people take turns using the laboratory. Community empowerment activities have been temporarily postponed. All my shopping activities do use online transportation (Gojek or Grab). I leave the house only when certain situations comply with standard operating procedures.


  1. Worldometer COVID-19 Corona Pandemic April 19, 2020.
  2. Gugus Tugas Percepatan Penanganan COVID-19. 18 April 2020 [Official Website].
  3. East Java Province. 18 April 2020 [Official Website].
  4. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. Pedoman Kesiapsiagaan Menghadapi Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Revisi ke-4 (PDF). Jakarta: Direktorat Jenderal Pencegahan dan Pengendalian Penyakit, Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia.
  5. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. 18 April 2020 [Official Website].
  6. State Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia. [Official Website].