JAKARTA: Indonesia reported 14 more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday (Mar 18), taking the death toll to 19, a health ministry official said.

This marks the country’s biggest single-day increase in fatalities.

“The total death toll until Mar 18, 12pm is 19,” Achmad Yurianto, the government’s spokesperson for the COVID-19 pandemic said at a press conference.

A total of 12 deaths were recorded in the capital Jakarta.

Bali province, Banten, West Java, East Java, as well as North Sumatra recorded one death each, while two people have died in the Central Java province.

READ: Indonesia to ban entry from 6 European countries, Iran as COVID-19 tally rises to 172

As of Wednesday, 227 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and are hospitalised.

A total of 11 cases have recovered and may be discharged, Mr Yurianto added.

The spokesperson said the country would likely see a spike in the number of cases as authorities are conducting active contact tracing and people want to get themselves checked.

“We are now in an acceleration phase where the number of patients will increase,” he added. 

“We hope that in April we will see the results and we’ll be able to begin to control (the situation). But right now it is rising.” 

He also said that three private hospitals have dedicated all their hospital beds for COVID-19 cases. Two of these hospitals are in Jakarta while one is in Karawang, West Java province. 

The government is also considering the use of rapid test kits to test for COVID-19 cases.

Mr Yurianto said private companies’ laboratories have been appointed to handle COVID-19 tests.

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