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Jakarta administration secretary Saefullah dies of COVID-19

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The Jakarta provincial government has lost a long-serving official after Saefullah, regional secretary of the Jakarta administration, passed away this afternoon after previously undergoing intensive care due to COVID-19. He was 56 years old.

“We surely belong to God, and to Him we shall return. Our brother, our best friend, the kindhearted pious figure who had been working with us all this time has passed away. Saefullah died at 12.55pm at Gatot Subroto Army Central Hospital,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said in a statement announcing Saefullah’s passing today.

He also asked the public to pray for Saefullah.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria said that Saefullah hadn’t been feeling well since earlier this month. He tested positive for the coronavirus not long after, but his condition was only confirmed publicly by Anies on Saturday.

Anies appointed Sri Haryati, the Regional Secretary’s Assistant for Economy and Finance, as acting regional secretary on Monday.

Saefullah had served as Jakarta’s regional secretary since 2014, during which time he served under five different governors. He was first appointed during President Joko Widodo’s tenure as Jakarta governor, then he went on to serve under Basuki Tjahaja Purnama AKA Ahok, acting governor Sumarsono, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, and eventually Anies.

Prior to becoming regional secretary, he was the Head of Youth and Sports Agency from 2009-2010 and Mayor of Central Jakarta from 2010-2014. During the last years of his life, he also served as chairman of the Jakarta chapter of Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama(NU).

Saefullah was briefly endorsed by the Gerindra Party as a candidate for deputy governor to replace Sandiaga Uno, who embarked on a failed run for vice president with presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, but the party later nominated Riza for the role.

According to reports, there are at least eight high-ranking Jakarta administration officials who recently tested positive for the coronavirus, including Amin Subekti, who heads the governor’s task force for urban development, and Suzy Marsitawati, who heads Jakarta’s Provincial Parks and City Forests Agency.


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