Indonesia picks Dr. Corona to fight coronavirus

It was written in the stars. And on a Japanese car.

Belmont Lay | March 14, 2020, 03:49 PM

Dr. Corona Rintawan, a 45-year-old Indonesian doctor, has been picked in his country to head a task force to contain the spread of the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease.

The emergency medicine expert was appointed to lead Muhammadiyah Covid-19 Command Center (MCCC), which was set up by Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organisation, Muhammadiyah.

MCCC is an interdisciplinary task force with 13 experts who are given the responsibility of educating the public on how to stop the spread of the virus.

“We are taking a proactive approach to assist the government in early diagnoses or early treatment for patients that show initial symptoms of infection,” Corona said.

He added: “It is about self-containment by one person who is aware of the situation and knows what to do to take care of oneself in the face of virus threats. It could create a positive domino effect in terms of reducing the potential to contract others with the virus.”

Experienced doctor

Corona's emergency experience includes being in medical teams responding to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

He also took part in a humanitarian mission for the Rohingya in Myanmar in 2017.

Corona is based at a Muhammadiyah-run hospital in Lamongan, East Java.

Why is his name "Corona"?

Asked about his name, the doctor told Arab News his parents would name their children in alphabetical order.

As he was the third child, his name had to start with “C”.

“There was no such thing as baby name books at that time, so they decided to take my name from the Toyota Corona car, which was a popular model back in the 1970s, and as they also found that it means a crown, which symbolises something good,” he said.

Top photo via Arab News