Indonesia has begun rapid coronavirus testing after a spike in positive cases and deaths, President Joko Widodo, said on Friday.
“Rapid testing is being carried out today for the purpose of contact tracing.
“Health workers are going door-to-door to carry out tests,’’ Joko said, adding an area in southern Jakarta was being prioritised.
The Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 369 as of Friday, with fatalities at 32.
Seventeen people have fully recovered, the ministry spokesman, Achmad Yurianto, said.
Yurianto said the ministry believes there are 700,000 people most at risk of contracting the virus and the governments were preparing one million testing kits.
“We are preparing mass testing for those who have contact with people who have tested positive,’’ he said.
“But not everyone will be tested,’’ the spokesman said.
The president on Thursday requested that vacant apartment towers used in 2018 for the Asian Games in Jakarta, now be converted into a quarantine facility for up to 2,000 people.
Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, said the government would set aside 27 trillion rupiah ($1.7 billion) to buy personal protective equipment for medical personnel, disinfectants and test kits, and to improve the capacity of hospitals.
The Indonesian Medical Association said hospitals were experiencing shortages in masks, goggles and hazmat suits as cases continued to climb.
Indonesia has suspended free visa and visa-on-arrival schemes and banned entry from visitors for some Western European countries for one month.
On Friday, the largest mosque in South-east Asia, Istiqlal, announced that there would be no Friday prayers for two weeks after the government urged social distancing.
Schools and public theme parks have been shut down for a week in the capital Jakarta.