THE JAKARTA POST – Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini knelt down on the ground and broke into tears as she held a meeting with doctors and hospital directors in Surabaya amid the spike of COVID-19 cases in East Java’s capital city, which has become Indonesia’s epicentre of the outbreak.
Risma, as the mayor is affectionately known, was holding a meeting with the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) and local authorities to discuss COVID-19 management at the Surabaya City Hall on Monday.
In the video, which went viral shortly after the meeting, the mayor, known as Risma, was seen kneeling down, crying and apologising after a pulmonologist from Dr Soetomo Hospital in Surabaya shared in the meeting that the hospital was overloaded with COVID-19 patients.
The doctor said that the hospital was overwhelmed with patients while also highlighting that there were still many residents of Surabaya who ignored the required health protocol to prevent further transmission of the highly infectious virus.
The statement led to a temporary halt of the meeting as Risma started to kneel down and cry.
“If you blame us (Surabaya administration), I won’t take it. We can’t even enter the hospital,” she said in tears as reported by tribunnews.com.
Risma argued that 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.
East Java is currently Indonesia’s COVID-19 epicentre with a tally of 11,805 confirmed cases as of Monday.