Covid-19 Virus Needs Living Cell to Survive: Gov’t Spokesperson

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 4 Maret 2020
Category: News
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Achmad Yurianto, spokesperson for coronavirus-related matters, answers questions from the reporters at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (3/3). Photo by: Jay/PR.

Secretary of the Directorate General for Disease Control and Prevention of Ministry of Health, who is also a newly-appointed spokesperson for coronavirus-related matters, Achmad Yurianto said that Covid-19 virus needs living cell to survive, as parasite needs living plant to survive.

“Parasite can survive if the tree survives. Once the tree is dead, the parasite will not survive. Likewise, the virus lives in the living cells. In this case, the living cell is in the respiratory tract of an infected person,” Achmad told the reporters at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (3/3).

Achmad added that when a person talks, coughs, or sneezes, some of these cells are released or thrown in the form of droplet. “Transmission of the virus occurs through close contact with patient,” Achmad said.

He said that if human cell is separated from the human body and gets exposure to ultraviolet, temperature and humidity in Indonesian climate, the average virus, both indoors and outdoors, will only survive in 10 to 15 minutes.

“It is the same as our blood when it is separated from our body, the cell will not survive after 10 minutes. Once the cell dies, the virus in it will also die, “Achmad added.

Achmad said that patients with symptoms of cough or flu should wear face mask to avoid virus transmission from droplet.

On that occasion, Achmad also said that medical privacy, including the name of patient, should not be disclosed.

“When we monitor the (Indonesian) crew members of the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship who have tested positive for coronavirus, the Japanese government only said that they were treated in the city of Chiba and on the outskirts of Tokyo. They don’t give the name of the hospitals,” Achmad explained, adding another example of the Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore (who tested positive for coronavirus). The name of the patient is not disclosed because the disclosure of patient private information will violate Medical Code of Ethics.

In the meantime, Achmad said the Government has prepared 136 hospitals to handle Covid-19 cases. “We know that in the context of hospital services in general, there are 14 national referral hospitals and approximately 50 regional referral hospitals, including in Provincial and Regional level,” he explained.

During the outbreak of SARS or bird flu in the previous years, Achmad added, the Government has appointed 100 referral hospitals.

The Government, Achmad added, has also building referral hospitals for improving health services in the border areas, including the newly-inaugurated hospital in Ambon.

“The Government will also build hospitals in Kupang, Wamena, and in border areas to improve referral mechanism,” Achmad concluded. (FID/MAY/EN)

Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by: Lulu Wuliarti

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