World

Hard-hit Surabaya's mayor breaks down in tears at Covid-19 meeting

JAKARTA: Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini knelt down and cried as she held a meeting with doctors and hospital directors amid the spike of Covid-19 cases in East Java's capital city, which has become Indonesia's epicentre of the outbreak.

Ms Risma was holding a meeting with the Indonesian Medical Association and local authorities to discuss Covid-19 management on Monday.

In the video, which went viral shortly after the meeting, the mayor was seen kneeling down, crying and apologising after a specialist from Dr Soetomo Hospital in Surabaya said the hospital was overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.

The doctor also said there were still many residents who ignored the required health protocol to prevent further transmission. The statement led to a temporary halt of the meeting as Ms Risma started to kneel down and cry.

She said: "If you blame us (Surabaya administration), I won't take it.

"We can't even enter the hospital," reported tribunnews.com.

Ms Risma said her office faced hurdles in reaching out to the hospital even when it tried to offer aid, without explaining the details.

She also said that her administration had undertaken various efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

"Please don't keep blaming us," she said while crying.

East Java is currently Indonesia's epicentre with a tally of 11,805 confirmed cases as of Monday, surpassing the capital city of Jakarta that has recorded 11,114 cases.

Overall, Indonesia yesterday reported its biggest rise in coronavirus deaths with 71 new fatalities, taking the total to 2,876.

There were 1,293 new infections, taking the total to 56,385.

THAILAND & MALAYSIA

Meanwhile, Thailand yesterday extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave , an official said, as the country was poised to reopen bars and allow some foreigners into the country.

The kingdom had two new cases imported from abroad, while marking 36 days without local transmission. The coronavirus has killed 58 people among its 3,171 infections.

Malaysia recorded two new cases yesterday, bringing the country's total to 8,639 infections.

The death toll remains at 121. - THE JAKARTA POST, REUTERS, THE STAR

WORLD