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Suspected Wuhan Corona Virus in Indonesia: What we know so far

Suspected Wuhan Corona Virus in Indonesia: What we know so far

As the death toll in China steadily rises, more cities are put under lockdown and suspected cases are found in other countries, fears over an outbreak of the new coronavirus have reached Indonesia.

On Friday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he had ordered Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto to increase the government’s vigilance regarding 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also referred to as Wuhan coronavirus.

“We should be ready to examine everyone entering Indonesia or anyone who potentially carries the virus in their body,” he said. “However, as of today, according to the information I have received, and I hope it would stay this way, no one has been infected with coronavirus in Indonesia,” he added.

Indonesia has no confirmed cases as of Jan. 29.

Suspected patients as of Jan. 29

As of Jan. 29, various media outlets have reported that Indonesia had at least eight suspected coronavirus patients, or in Indonesian health authorities terms, eight people had been “put under observation”.

Central Java cities, four patients, suspected

As of Jan. 29, the province has reported that four patients are under observation.

One is in Cilacap Hospital — a 29-year-old tourist from Shanghai, China, who was on a family vacation.

Another is an Indonesian who recently returned from Singapore. On Monday, the medical service department head of Dr. Moewardi Hospital, Harsini, said that after laboratory tests and a thorax X-ray, the hospital concluded that the patient was coronavirus negative and had acute bronchitis. On Tuesday, however, the hospital’s law and public relations department head, Eko Haryanti, said the patient was still under observation and would be retested on Jan. 29.

An Indonesian PhD student from Wuhan is also under observation at Karyadi Hospital in Semarang.

In Purwokerto, a Chinese tourist from Shanghai was put under observation on Jan. 28. Another tourist from China, however, was said by the hospital to have tested negative on Jan. 28.


Is Indonesia prepared?

The Health Ministry has ordered the use of 135 thermal scanners at Indonesia’s port of entries and designated 100 hospitals as referral hospitals for coronavirus cases in Indonesia. The hospitals previously received referral cases during the avian influenza outbreak.

Sulianto Saroso Hospital in Jakarta has been appointed the referral hospital at the national level, Health Ministry directorate general of prevention and disease control Anung Sugihantono said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website. The hospital will also hold a webinar for 100 other referral hospitals.

In West Java, RSHS and Rotinsulu Lung Hospital have been chosen as referral hospitals for infection in West Java. RSHS’s director of medics and care, Nucki Nursjamsi, said hospitals with suspected coronavirus cases must file a request via an online system first and wait for approval before sending a patient to RSHS to ensure the safety of other patients.

RSHS has prepared isolation room Kemuning for suspected patients. The room is equipped with sterilization tools, negative air pressure and is only accessible to special staffers who must wear a hazard suit.

The Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, has formed a special team called New-Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease (Pinere) consisting of 20 medical specialists. The team will care for suspected coronavirus patients and handle referral cases from Aceh, North Sumatra and Riau.

Pinere coordinating head Ade Rahmaini said on Friday that the team had dealt with one suspected patient in early January. The patient was admitted to Adam Malik Hospital after showing flu-like symptoms upon returning from a trip abroad. However, after three days, the patient was declared coronavirus-negative.

Politics of language

The government through Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto has insisted that the country has zero suspected coronavirus cases.

“No one is suspected of being infected [with the Wuhan coronavirus],” Terawan said on Sunday, despite reports of suspected cases in several regions.

Hospital authorities across the country have also advised media outlets against using the term “suspected”. Some have call such reports “hoaxes”. This has caused contradicting reports in the media because the authorities have been quick to that declare a patient test negative of the coronavirus even though there was no standard lab result and the patient was in fact still under observation.

The government appears to have applied a stricter definition of people suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.


Devina Heriyanto
The Jakarta Post

Original Source

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