Indonesia doctor hits the streets to curb coronavirus

By Heru Asprihanto and Adi Kurniawan
Fakhrurrozi, 53, an Indonesian doctor and his team members give a broadcast coronavirus message from the back of a motor-tricycle to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Depok, near Jakarta

By Heru Asprihanto and Adi Kurniawan

DEPOK, Indonesia (Reuters) - After a busy session at his clinic, Indonesian doctor Fakhrurrozi hops on the back of a motorised tricycle with a loud-hailer to urge residents to stay at home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Fakhrurrozi, 53, who uses one name, started the initiative along with three volunteers last month after Indonesia recorded its first COVID-19 cases in his neighbourhood of Depok, to the south of capital, Jakarta.   "I feel responsible to go into the community to provide education about the disease," said the doctor, who spends several hours after his morning clinic driving around three times a week.    His mission appears to be taking on added impetus after the world's fourth-most populous country announced on Friday its biggest one-day surge in coronavirus cases, up 153 to 1,046.

Indonesia has also recorded the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia at 87.    "From the existing data and numbers, the trend is similar all over Indonesia, increases every day," Fakhrurrozi said at his clinic, where nurses use raincoats and masks as make-shift protective gear.

"Therefore, it is important that the people are aware and obey the rules of not leaving their houses, maintaining social distancing and take care of cleanliness."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has so far resisted ordering a complete lockdown in the country of more than 260 million people, but some provincial governments have urged people to stay home for at least two weeks.    Jakarta, where many residents of Depok work, has been under a state of emergency since March 23 with bars, cinemas and other entertainment centres ordered to close .   "There are still many residents who don't know about coronavirus," said volunteer Askar Kustiwa, explaining why he had decided to help the doctor with his mission.


(Writing by Ed Davies; editing by Nick Macfie)