JAKARTA: Indonesia’s health ministry reported eight new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday (Mar 10), taking the total number in the country to 27.

The ages of the new patients ranged from 33 to 73, ministry official Achmad Yurianto told reporters. 

READ: COVID-19: Concerns among some Indonesian hospitals over availability of medical equipment

READ: Indonesia arrests six over COVID-19 internet hoaxes

Two of them were foreigners, he added. Five of the new cases had been imported, two were traced to an earlier cluster and the origin of one was still being investigated, he added.

Local authorities earlier said that six Indonesians have been arrested for allegedly spreading misinformation online about the deadly coronavirus. 

A woman in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya was arrested on Monday for spreading inaccurate claims on Facebook that a patient was being treated for the virus in the city, police said.

Five others were also detained for spreading false information on social media, including claims a Muslim woman flying to Saudi Arabia for a religious pilgrimage had died suddenly from the virus at Jakarta’s international airport.

Scientists have questioned the relatively low number of cases in the world’s fourth most populous country, and suggested there could be many more people with the illness.

COVID-19 has killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 110,000 globally since it emerged last year.

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