• In December 2019, an upsurge of respiratory illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus was detected in China.
• Human-to-human transmission of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 was confirmed globally within a month.
• On 30 January 2020, WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
• On 11 March, WHO Director General characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
• As of 26 March, the Government of Indonesia reported a total of 893 confirmed cases with 78 deaths and 35 recoveries from across 27 provinces.
• On 02 March, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the first two confirmed cases of the disease in the country.
• The WHO DG sent a letter dated 10 March to the President of Indonesia with key recommendations and an assurance of WHO’s continued support for COVID-19 response efforts in Indonesia.
• Following the letter, the DG called the President on 13 March to express appreciation of the Government’s leadership on COVID-19. Indonesia’s response was discussed and WHO’s cooperation for scaling up was reiterated.
• On 13 March, the Government formed a COVID-19 operational Taskforce, led by the head of the National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) and with other relevant Government agencies.
• On 15 March, at a press conference in West Java, the President announced national social distancing measures encouraging working, studying and worshipping at home and postponing any activity involving a large number of participants.
• WHO has been working with the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as the BNPB to develop a National Response Plan for COVID-19, including critical preparedness and response actions, with a whole-of-society approach.
• As per WHO laboratory guidance, early identification of clusters of transmission is essential and therefore, sufficient and decentralized laboratory capacity must be ensured. The MoH has approved regional laboratories to be able to test for COVID-19 all over the country. Efforts are underway to make them fully functional.
• On 20 March, the Governor of Jakarta declared a state of emergency in the capital city for two weeks, to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in Jakarta. He advised all corporate offices and entertainment venues such as cinemas, bars and karaoke rooms to remain closed and public religious activities that may lead to a large gathering to be suspended for the following two weeks.