Mohammad Mahfud speaks during a press conference. File
Indonesia's security minister has come under fire for comparing the coronavirus disease with a wife in an attempt to dispel public concerns about easing COVID-19 restrictions.
In a YouTube video, the Minister, Mohammad Mahfud asked, “Are we going to be holed up forever? We can adjust to the situation while still paying attention to our health…”
Then he made the inflammatory comment.
'Corona is like your wife. Initially, you tried to control it… then you realise that you can't. Then you learn to live with it," Mahfud said.
Indonesia reported 687 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 24,538, a health ministry official said on Thursday.
Indonesia also confirmed 23 new deaths from the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 1,496, the official.
The government is considering lifting of partial lockdowns in June.
The provocative remarks were met with strong protests from women's rights groups and Indonesians on social media.
Meanwhile, hospitals in Indonesia's second largest city of Surabaya have been overwhelmed by a surge of new coronavirus cases, forcing them to turn patients away, the Indonesian Medical Association said on Thursday.
At least two city hospitals designated to treat the disease in East Java province have been inundated with patients amid fears the virus could spread rapidly beyond its epicentre in the capital Jakarta to elsewhere in the country of 270 million.
"What we can observe is that the number of patients and the number of beds is not balanced," Sutrisno, chairman of the East Java branch of the Indonesian Medical Association, told reporters.
Dilip Wedaarachchi with a fish in his hand told media that our people who are in the fisheries industry cannot sell their fish. People of this country are not eating fish.
The post contained a video clip, from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day, in which Trump claimed that children are "almost immune" to COVID-19.
Police say a knife-wielding man has wounded Indonesia’s security minister, a local police chief and another person in a western province. National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said
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