Selasa, 31 Maret 2020

Spreading Far from Bogor - Tempo English Magazine

Spreading Far from Bogor - Tempo English Magazine

RICO Sihombing had a fever on Thursday, March 12. He was having dry coughs and difficulty breathing. When admitted to a hospital in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, he was told to have thoracic scan. “I was also instructed to take the swab test,” he said when contacted via telephone on March 25. Mucus samples were taken from Rico’s nose and mouth to detect the coronavirus.

Four days before that, Rico had had another bout of fever. Based on laboratory testing results, he was diagnosed with the dengue fever because his platelet count was only 81,000, lower than the minimum of 140,000. Five days after his swab test on March 17, Rico, a penatua or assistant priest in the Immanuel Western Indonesia Protestant Church (GPIB), Gambir, Central Jakarta, was positively diagnosed with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or Covid-19.

Rico had no idea when and where he contracted the disease, caused by a virus originated from Wuhan, China. While he did not go overseas prior to the test, Rico did attend a number of events where crowds gathered. On March 1, he was working in the church. He also went to a meeting in Central Jakarta and a GPIB conference in Gunung Geulis, Bogor, West Java, for three days since March 5. All of his families and colleagues who came in close contact with him during the event had undergone the corona rest. They all came out negative, according to Rico.

However, Rico also said that he came to the GPIB Synod Assembly Annual Gathering in Aston Hotel, Bogor, on February 26 to 29. The event was attended by around 700 GPIB management members from all over Indonesia. Seated on the podium, Rico led the synod forum with four other persons. One of them is a priest working in Bahtera Hayat Batam GPIB, Riau Islands. On March 19, or two days afer Rico was identified as having a positive case, the priest was also diagnosed with Covid-19. The woman priest passed away three days after her test result came out.

Batam City Health Agency Chief Didi Kusmarjadi confirmed that the priest was one of the patients who contracted the disease from the Bogor’s GPIB gathering cluster. With the virus’ incubation period of between two to 14 days—as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO)—Batam City Administration immediately traced every person who had come in contact with the priest. There were at least 77 persons who were in close proximity with her. Some of them are still undergoing self-quarantine at home. Others are being quarantined in Tanjung Uncang Subsidized Apartment, Batam.

People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo opens the GPIB Synod forum in Bogor, last February.

Rico and the pastor from Batam were not the only ones in their row who contracted the coronavirus. GPIB Synod Assembly 2nd Secretary Sheila Aryani Salomo said that, while initially reserved for synod forum organizers—a kind of central committee—the front row seats along the middle column were later occupied by a number of government officials attending the event. Sheila moved to the left column upon arrival of People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo and Bogor City Mayor Bima Arya.

Seated on the front row, Bambang and Bima were accompanied by a panatua who was also the head of synod assembly. The panatua passed away on March 18. A GPIB organizer who was present in the occasion told that the panatua was seen communicating intensely with another priest during the forum. That priest recently died, as did another priest who shared a room with the panatua.

On March 19, Bima Arya announced that he had been positively diagnosed with coronavirus, three days after he returned from a visit to Turkey and Azerbaijan. On March 27, a Bogor City administration official also died of Covid-19. Bogor Deputy Mayor Dede Rachim said the official was part of a group who welcomed Bima Arya when he returned from his overseas visit.

It is not yet clear who was the suspected carrier of the virus during the forum in Bogor. Without a coronavirus test, Bima Arya explained to journalists that the church organizers did not pass away due to corona. He mentioned the head of the synod assembly accompanying him died of dengue fever.

However, aside from those in the front row, some synod participants seated along the middle and back rows also contracted the coronavirus. There are at least three persons who were diagnosed with corona after returning from the forum in Bogor. They are from Bekasi (West Java), Lampung, and East Kutai (Est Kalimantan). “We are looking into where they were seated,” said Sheila Aryani Salomo.

The coronavirus has recently spread to GPIB congregation members who were not present in the synod forum. Marina -not her real name—a member of GPIB congregation in Serpong, South Tangerang, was diagnosed with Covid-19 since March 17. Marina is undergoing isolation in Karawaci Hospital. To Tempo, Marina said that she experienced a high fever on March 6. She was first diagnosed with common flu. Two days later, based on blood test, she was diagnosed with typhoid fever.

While she was feeling unwell, Marina attended two meetings, in Melawa Building, Serpong, and and the assembly office in GPIB Immanuel complex, Gambir, Jakarta. It was during these meetings that Marina said she encountered people who came to the gathering in Bogor. “But I could not be sure whether I contracted the disease from these meetings or not,” she said.

The spread of the virus from the synod gathering in Bogor has given rise to a polemic among congregation members. In a limited Facebook group of GPIB organizers, named GPIB-Presbyter (Deacon-Panatua-Pastor), some members urge for transparency regarding the coronavirus victims. Moreover, the church’s leaders are in contact with hundreds to thousand of congregation members. GPIB has hundreds of churches spread in various islands in Indonesia.

Sheila Aryani Salomo said GPIB management have issued some circular letters requesting congregations to postpone events and suspend Sunday service in churches starting March 15. “We also formed a special task force in response to this occurrence,” she said.

Sheila also said that she consulted an expert staff member of the Health Ministry, Alexander Kaliaga Ginting, on March 12. Alexander, said Shelia, suggested the GPIB Synod Assembly to urge organizers who were present during the gathering in Bogor to undergo the test. Alexander confirmed of having talk with Sheila. “So that we could map participants with low, medium, and high risks,” he said. A day after their coordination, the GPIB Synod Forum issued a circular letter urging participants of the forum to test and isolate themselves.

From the observation of the affected people and their spread, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said the GPIB Synod Assembly in Bogor is one of the epicenters of the virus’ propagation. “If some people from the same event were identified as positive, it has to be a new cluster of infection,” said Ridwan during an interview with Tempo on March 27. He also believes that some participants who contracted the virus remain unidentified because they do not feel symptoms, or have not undergone the test.

Ridwan also discovered another cluster, the West Java Young Entrepreneurs Association Conference (Musda Hipmi). Taking place in Swiss-Belinn Karawang Hotel on March 9 to 10, the event was attended by at least 400 participants. Ridwan was one of the government officials who were present. Ridwan discovered this Karawang epicenter when he tested all of his special staff members. The West Java administration brought in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus testing tools from South Korea. Following a series of tests, a member of his staff was found positive for Covid-19. “I asked about (his) activities during the last week, turns out the person attended Musda Hipmi,” said Ridwan.

The special staff member also revealed the names of officials in the conference who came in close contact. One of them was Bandung City Deputy Mayor Yana Mulyana. After being checked using the testing tool from South Korea, Yana was found to be positive with the coronavirus. Yana declared that he has recovered from the disease on March 27.

Tracing continued to officials who interacted with Yana. Ridwan’s team found a photograph showing Yana sitting near Karawang Regent Cellica Nurrachadiana during the event. Cellica, a politican from the Democrat Party, took the test and was found to be positive as well. “I did not experience symptoms and am currently undergoing isolation in the hospital,” said Cellica through her personal account in social media, March 25.

However, Cellica’s symptoms had actually become apparent five days before. She was coughing when delivering a speech for the inauguration of a village head in her office. Cellica then asked her deputy, Ahmad Zamakhsyari, to continue the welcoming speech. She then moved to the side of the podium and drank an bottle of water given by her aide.

Other than these three individuals, a former member of the House and Representative and two West Java government officials also contracted the coronavirus after participating in the Hipmi conference in Karawang. West Java Hipmi Supervisory Board Chairman Jodi Janitra said his organization is attempting to trace those who might have had physical contacts with conference attendees that tested positive. “Every colleagues in the regions are also advised to take the coronavirus test,” said Jodi.


2020-03-31 10:45:25Z

Senin, 30 Maret 2020

Bogor Preps 2 Local Coronavirus Lockdown Scenarios - English

Bogor Preps 2 Local Coronavirus Lockdown Scenarios - English

TEMPO.CO, JakartaBogor city administration was preparing two lockdown scenarios as an anticipatory measure if Jakarta decides to enforce local isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bogor Deputy Mayor Dedie A Rachim explained the plans during a coordination meeting with Mayor Ade Yasin and the city’s COVID-19 Crisis Center team at the center post on Sunday, March 29.

For the first scenario, the city administration will close five roads in the central city, while the second one is the total isolation by closing nine accesses to the city.

“Because of many residents of Bogor and surrounding areas who work in Jakarta, Bogor will implement programs that are in line with Jakarta,” Dedie remarked, adding that if the capital plans to go on lockdown, Bogor city must be getting ready as well.

He went on to say that his side was coordinating with West Java Governor in light of the lockdown scenario. The governor will then talk to Jakarta Governor to adjust such a program with the capital’s supporting regions in West Java. The Bogor administration was discussing the plan with Bogor Regency, too, Dedie added.

Bogor Regent Ade Yasin added that they discussed future possibilities to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the regions, underlining that what is happening in Bogor City may affect Bogor Regency and vice versa. “That’s why we need to maintain the coordination,” Ade said.


2020-03-30 00:25:53Z

Kamis, 26 Maret 2020

Bogor residents grieve over demise of Jokowi's beloved mother - ANTARA English

Bogor residents grieve over demise of Jokowi's beloved mother - ANTARA English

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Bogor Deputy Mayor Dedie A. Rachim, on behalf of the city administration and its residents, expressed deepest condolences over the passing away of Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, the beloved mother of Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

The demise of Jokowi's mother in Solo, Central Java, on Wednesday is a huge loss, both for the president and all residents of Bogor City, Rachim stated in his Whatsapp message that ANTARA received here on Thursday.

Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, 77, who was battling cancer since the past four years, breathed her last at around 4:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday in her hometown, Solo.

Rachim prayed to the Almighty God that He grants President Jokowi and his kin the patience and steadfastness to endure this difficult time amid the government's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Indonesia.

"May President Jokowi and his kin be able to get through this difficult time," he noted.

Several members of Indonesian communities and foreign dignitaries in Jakarta also expressed their deepest condolences over the demise of President Jokowi's mother.

Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, South Korean Ambassador Kim Chang Beom, and British Ambassador Owen Jenkins, among others, took to their official social media platforms to offer their condolences to the president on behalf of their embassies and people.

President Jokowi landed in Solo at 5:52 p.m. local time on Wednesday to pay his final tribute to his mother.

Born on February 15, 1943, Sujiatmi was married to Widjiatno Notomiharjo. They had four children. President Jokowi, their first child, was born in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, on June 21, 1961.

Sujiatmi would be buried in a family burial complex in Mundu, Selokaton, Gondangrejo, Karanganyar District, Central Java, on Thursday at around 1 p.m. local time.

To this end, some 1,600 police and military personnel will stand guard at her funeral.

Security arrangements were made around the mourning house — along the road leading to and around the cemetery, Chief of the Central Java Provincial Police Inspector General Rycko Amelza Dahniel revealed on Wednesday.

Chief of the Diponegoro Regional Military Command, Major General M. Effendi, stated that the extended family of President Jokowi had also requested the public to refrain from paying their tributes to Sujiatmi at the mourning house in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. Related news: MUI offers condolences to President over mother's demise
Related news: Foreign dignitaries mourn demise of President Jokowi's mother


2020-03-26 04:53:59Z

Selasa, 24 Maret 2020

COVID-19 crisis prompts temporary closures of 17 hotels in Bogor - ANTARA English

COVID-19 crisis prompts temporary closures of 17 hotels in Bogor - ANTARA English

We, the Bogor city administration, praised the PHRI (the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants) of the Bogor chapter, for supporting the government's policy. Let us prevent the spread of coronavirus together.

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - As many as 17 hotels in Bogor City, West Java, have temporarily closed their doors to back the government's step to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Bogor Vice Mayor Dedie A. Rachim stated.

"We, the Bogor city administration, praise the Bogor chapter of the PHRI (the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants) for supporting the government's policy. Let us together prevent the spread of coronavirus," he stated in a recorded video on Tuesday.

The city administration had issued a circular calling for the temporary closures of offices from Monday (March 23) in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The city administration, through the circular, has also urged all companies in the city to seriously and immediately implement it by suspending office activities, closing down operational facilities, and implementing a work-from-home policy.

If the companies cannot totally stop office activities, they should curtail them by reducing the number of on-duty workers, working hours, and operational facilities while encouraging their employees to work from home as far as possible, he stated.

The call will be valid for 11 days, from March 23 to April 2, 2020.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto has been receiving treatment in the isolation room of the city's public hospital for 14 days since last Thursday evening after having tested positive for COVID-19, a local government official stated.

Sugiarto obtained the result of his throat swab test on last Thursday afternoon that confirmed he had contracted the virus, Acting Head of the Bogor City Administration's Health Office Sri Nowo Retno noted in her press statement last Friday.

Sugiarto and four officials of the city government had undergone a medical checkup at the Bogor Senior Hospital on March 17, or a day after they arrived from their official trip to Turkey and Azerbaijan, she remarked.

Their swab tests confirmed that the city mayor and one of the four city government's officials had been infected with COVID-19, Retno, concurrently spokesperson of the Bogor City Administration's COVID-19 Emergency Response, stated.
Related news: Bogor city govt registers journalists attending Bima Arya's briefing

Related news: Bogor mayor admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19


2020-03-24 06:04:38Z

Sabtu, 21 Maret 2020

Bogor Mayor Tests Positive for Covid-19 - Jakarta Globe

Bogor Mayor Tests Positive for Covid-19 - Jakarta Globe

Bogor. The mayor of Bogor, one of Jakarta's satellite cities south of the capital, has tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from official trips to Turkey and Azerbaijan, a health official said on Friday.

Bima Arya and his entourage arrived back in Indonesia on Monday. The mayor decided to get tested for coronavirus at the Bogor Senior Hospital after starting to suffer from flu-like symptoms the following day.

He said at the time he would self-isolate for precaution.

"On Thursday afternoon, Bogor Mayor Bima Arya received the result of his swab test, which confirmed he had contracted Covid-19," Bogor Health Department Head Sri Nowo Retno said in a news conference.

Another city official has also tested positive for coronavirus, but Retno declined to reveal his or her identity.

"After the positive test results, the mayor and the official were immediately placed in isolation at the Bogor Municipal Hospital. They will stay there for at least 14 days starting Thursday evening," she said.

Retno said her team is still tracing people who had made contacts with both officials.

Bima announced the test result on his Instagram account on Thursday evening.

"My loving Bogor residents, my Covid-19 test has come back positive. My prayer goes to us all. May all of us be blessed with fitness. We are fighting this coronavirus together. Please follow the government's instructions. Take care of yourself and observe social distancing. Let's fight [this pandemic] and hope for the best. Stay optimistic," he wrote.

Bima is the second public official to contract the virus after Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, who tested positive last week.

Budi's positive test result prompted the country’s top officials, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, to take the coronavirus test.

The president announced in a video message on Thursday his test results had come back negative.

"My wife Iriana and I took the Covid-19 test four days ago. The results came back negative yesterday. On behalf of the Indonesian people, I would like to thank all doctors, nurses and hospitals across the country who have been working very hard with the utmost dedication to serve and treat Covid-19 patients," Jokowi said in the video, where he was accompanied by the First Lady.

Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian praised Bima for immediately announcing his positive test result, which allowed health officials to take immediate responses, especially in contact tracing.

"We should appreciate the Bogor mayor's openness in announcing he has been infected with Covid-19 and his earlier decision to put himself into voluntary isolation," Tito said in Jakarta on Friday.

Tito said Bima was the first regional government head to have tested positive for Covid-19.

"In developed countries, public officials who have contracted Covid-19 regularly announce their test results to the public. Awareness like this helps slow down the transmission of the deadly virus," Tito said.

"We pray for a speedy recovery for Mr. Bima Arya and all the other people who have contracted this terrible disease," he said.

2020-03-20 09:12:35Z

Jumat, 20 Maret 2020

Bogor mayor, one other official test positive for COVID-19 after trip to Turkey - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Post

Bogor mayor, one other official test positive for COVID-19 after trip to Turkey - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Post

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto has tested positive for COVID-19, as has one of his subordinates at the Bogor municipality administration, officials say.

The mayor underwent a swab test for COVID-19 on Tuesday at Bogor Senior Hospital, Bogor city spokesperson and health agency head Sri Nowo Retno said.

She explained that Bima had taken the test after returning from a work-related trip to Turkey on Monday. Four other officials who joined the mayor on the trip were also tested and one was declared positive for COVID-19. 

Following the results, Bima and all officials who went on the trip will comply with health protocols that include a minimum 14-day isolation at Bogor Senior Hospital, Sri said, adding that the hospital was prepared to treat patients with  the fast-spreading respiratory illness in Bogor.

Bima has reported his condition to the West Java governor, state secretary and home minister. While he is under isolation, the Bogor city administration will be supervised by Deputy Mayor Dedie A. Rachim, Sri said.

The mayor also shared the news on his Instagram account @bimaaryasugiarto.

"Maintain your health, be aware, distance yourself from others, and don't go out of the house unless it is necessary," he said in a video uploaded to Instagram. 

A recent seminar held in the city was in the spotlight following reports of four people having tested positive for COVID-19 in Surakarta, Central Java. They allegedly contracted the virus while in Bogor in late February. Of the four cases, two have died at Moewardi Regional Hospital, Surakarta.

Based on data from the Bogor official website for COVID-19,, which was last updated at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Bogor had zero positive cases of COVID-19, making the mayor and his subordinate the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city.

The city has prepared three hospitals for COVID-19, namely Bogor General Hospital, Siloam Hospital and  Bogor Senior Hospital. (trn)

2020-03-20 05:56:00Z

Selasa, 10 Maret 2020

Bogor develops local village into nutmeg center to spur tourism, economy - Jakarta Post

Bogor develops local village into nutmeg center to spur tourism, economy - Jakarta Post

In a bid to boost urban farming and promote tourism, the Bogor administration in West Java has turned a local village into a center for nutmeg production and hopefully, a popular tourist destination for the City of Rain. Many residents of Kampung Buntar in Muarasari subdistrict, South Bogor district, have already been running home-based industries that produce processed nutmeg. Inspired by their efforts, the city administration decided to tap into their potential and expand their businesses. According to Bogor Deputy Mayor Dedie A. Rachim, Bogor could one day be known and visited for its processed nutmeg with the help of Kampung Buntar. “We want to [expand] Kampung Buntar as a nutmeg village and hopefully, nutmeg can become Bogor’s signature product, especially in our efforts to bolster urban farming,” Dedie said at the initiative’s official launch in Kam...

2020-03-10 11:50:00Z