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Indonesia's coronavirus cases may reach more than 106,000 by July, according to spy agency

Apr 04. 2020
A medical worker stands in a treatment room at the COVID-19 emergency hospital in Kemayoran, Jakarta, on March 3. (Kompas/Pool/Heru Sri Kumoro)
A medical worker stands in a treatment room at the COVID-19 emergency hospital in Kemayoran, Jakarta, on March 3. (Kompas/Pool/Heru Sri Kumoro)
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By Galih Gumelar
The Jakarta Post/ANN

A study by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) has warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country may reach its peak in the next three months, culminating to more than 106,000 cases by July, Indonesia’s COVID-19 rapid response task force says.

The task force's chief, Doni Monardo, presented a study conducted by the spy agency during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission IX overseeing health care and manpower on Thursday.

According to the forecast, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia will rise gradually in the coming months -- to up to 27,307 cases by the end of April, 95,451 cases by the end of May to 105,765 cases by the end of June -- and is estimated to reach up to 106,287 cases by July.

Doni said the study might be accurate since BIN was close in its estimation of the number of people who would be infected with the disease by the end of March, following the government’s confirmation of the country’s first two positive cases on March 2.

BIN previously estimated that the country would record up to 1,577 confirmed COVID-19 cases by the end of last month, a slight difference from the government's official count of 1,528 cases as of March 31.

“So far, BIN has been 99 percent accurate in its estimates,” Doni said during the meeting, "Therefore, we also expect the contagion to peak in July."

“As many as 50 cities and regencies across the country, particularly in Java, are at high risk,” he added.

As of Thursday afternoon, Indonesia's official count of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 1,790, with 170 fatalities and 112 recoveries. The figure put the country's current COVID-19 mortality rate at 9.4 percent, which is among the highest in the world.

The provinces of Java now contain the majority of the country’s total infections, as combined cases from Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java totaled 1,519 as of Thursday.

A surge in the number of confirmed cases might happen in the coming months since the country failed to conduct quick and massive coronavirus tests, therefore the positive cases will gradually increase toward the peak period of the contagion, Doni said.

He went on to tell the lawmakers that the central government had scrambled to address the issue, including in carrying out nationwide rapid tests and authorizing more than 12 laboratories to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which were considered to be accurate in confirming coronavirus infections.

“The government has promised to give its full support for COVID-19 testing, including by allocating a portion of the state budget to increase the capacity of testing facilities,” Doni added.

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