Health Minister Confirms Two Fresh Cases of New COVID-19 Variants in Indonesia
Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin confirmed that two fresh cases of new COVID-19 variants have been detected in Indonesia.
“We are currently monitoring the new mutation every week. Last week, two new cases of virus mutation are found in East Java; both patients are Indonesian Migrant Workers who just returned from Malaysia. One of them was infected by the South African variant, and the other was infected by the United Kingdom variant,” he said after joining a limited meeting on the handling of COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday (17/5), in Jakarta.
For that reason, the Minister ordered regional governments to intensify 3T (tracing, testing, and treatment) measures. After the tracing, he added, the suspects must be tested immediately.
Budi also reminded all of the World Health Organization’s recommended testing rate. It requires one test per 1,000 population per week, meaning with a population of around 270 million, Indonesia must be able to conduct 40,000 test per day.
“The rate also applies to the smallest administration units in all regencies, municipalities, and provinces. We must ensure that the tracing is well-implemented on the ground as well as ensure that close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases to be tested,” he explained.
On that occasion, the Minister called on the public to remain discipline in adhering to the health protocols (wearing face masks, regularly washing hands, and maintaining safe distance), and following the micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM Mikro) policy. On the other hand, regional governments including in the neighboring units are ordered to ensure a successful implementation of the PPKM Mikro policy.
“Do implement the health protocols and PPKM Mikro policy, trace 15 close contacts within 72 hours, and perform COVID-19 test as many as possible. Don’t worry if the number of positive cases jumps from the result; it is better since we may be able to detect the spread of new mutation,” he concluded. (DND/UN) (RAS/MUR)