Indonesia Yet to Report a Single Case of Coronavirus, Country’s Health Minister Says They ‘Owe It to God’


With coronavirus spreading throughout South East Asia, Indonesia’s top health official has credited divine assistance as the reason no cases of the illness have been reported in his country.

Emanating from China, there have been confirmed cases of the illness in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, among other countries in the region. While authorities in Indonesia have tested 102 suspected cases, none has come back positive, the Jakarta Post reported.

The lack of confirmed cases has sparked concerns that the government in the world’s most populous Muslim country is playing down the threat.

Chinese tourists in Indonesia
Chinese tourists wearing facemasks arrive at Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar, Indonesia, on February 8, 2020. The country’s health minister says prayer has kept the disease at bay.

But Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto has now suggested a link between piety and immunity.

“We owe it to God. It’s because of our prayers. We do not wish upon something like that will reach Indonesia,” he said, according to the South China Morning Post.