Indonesia Steps Up Security Following Wuhan Virus Outbreak

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Laila Afifa

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  • A worker in a protective suit is seen at the closed seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 10, 2020. The seafood market is linked to the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus, but some patients diagnosed with the new coronavirus deny exposure to this market. REUTERS/Stringer

    A worker in a protective suit is seen at the closed seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 10, 2020. The seafood market is linked to the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus, but some patients diagnosed with the new coronavirus deny exposure to this market. REUTERS/Stringer

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Health Ministry is increasing its monitor on the possible international outbreak, following the spread of the Wuhan virus, as authorities are puzzled by its transmission. 

    “It is suspected [to have been transmitted] from animals,” said the Health Ministry’s director-general of disease prevention and control, Anung Sugihantono, in a press conference on Monday, January 21. 

    Following similar cases reported by authorities in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, the Indonesian government has issued an official circular to officials guarding 135 international gateways calling to beef up monitoring on visitors entering Indonesia. 

    “As of now, the people in port health offices have been instructed to closely monitor visitors’ body temperature and whether they show respiratory disorders. We have installed thermal scans, which have been used for 5 years, which will show people’s body temperature. [Any possible cases] will be checked and, if needed, will be quarantined,” said Anung. 

    Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said that the added security measure is not a direct response to China’s Wuhan pneumonia outbreak as it is mainly to update the ministry’s equipment. He also said the ministry has not issued a travel warning for people coming from China or for those planning to travel there. 

    “[Travel is] still allowed, but with great caution,” he said.

    Other precautions applied by the government include the distribution of health alert cards for visitors, where they must report back if they show symptoms of contracting the Wuhan virus. 

    YAYUK WIDIYARTI