On New Virus Variants, Minister Calls on Public to Continue Implementing Health Protocols
Date 10 Mei 2021
Minister of Health Budi G. Sadikin urged the public to maintain discipline in adhering to the health protocols as it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including the new virus variants which have been found in Indonesia.
“We must be disciplined in adhering to the health protocols (wearing face masks, washing hands, maintaining distance). That is the most effective way to prevent the spread of new variants of COVID-19. Once again, maintain discipline in following the health protocols and implement micro-scale public activity restrictions to control the spread,” he said after joining a limited meeting on the Handling of COVID-19, on Monday (10/5), in Jakarta.
According to the Minister, three new variants identified as Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) have been found to have spread in Indonesia, namely the B.1.1.7 variant known as the UK variant, B.1.351 variant known as the South African variant, and B.1.617 known as the Indian variant. The cases of new variant are imported from Saudi Arabia, Africa, India, and Malaysia.
“The UK variant was detected in January and have been spread in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Bali. Meanwhile, we have detected one case of the South African variant in Bali. More imported cases are from the Indian variant which detected mostly in South Sumatra and Central Kalimantan,” he explained.
To avoid further outbreak of the three variants of concern, the Ministry will intensify genome sequencing examination in regions where the cases were found.
“We, the Ministry of Health will intensify genome sequencing examination in regions where new mutation cases were detected to trace the spread. Therefore, we can take measures in forms of isolation and quarantine (of the confirmed and suspected cases) to prevent the new variants from spreading to other regions,” he concluded. (FID/UN) (RAS/MMB)