Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia Mohammad Mahfud MD has come under heavy criticism for drawing comparisons between the novel coronavirus and rebellious wives in remarks that were aimed at trying to calm fears among the public over the easing of the restrictions across the Southeast Asian archipelago. The statement has been slammed by women's groups and on social media as sexist in nature, which the security minister had made apparently as a joke while addressing a local university online on Tuesday.

Mahfud MD said, "Are we going to be holed up forever? We can adjust to the situation while still paying attention to our health,". He added saying, "The other day I got a meme from my colleague... that says: Corona is like your wife. Initially you tried to control it, then you realise that you can't. Then you learn to live with it." Women's Solidarity group chief executive Dinda Nisa Yura issued a statement as a response saying, "This statement not only reflects the superficial power of the government to solve the Covid-19 pandemic problem, but also shows the sexist and misogynistic mindset of public officials,".

As many as 340,000 troops are being deployed by the Indonesian government to put a stop to social distancing violations as the number of coronavirus infections has been on the rise in the fourth-most populous country in the world. The decision comes at a time when the government is looking to reopen businesses across the country in the hopes of avoiding an economic collapse. Around about 24,000 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Indonesia with the death toll crossing 1,400 to date.