Doctor Theorizes Why Indonesians Less Prone to Coronavirus



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The shocking viral outbreak of coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated from Wuhan Province in China, has claimed the lives of 170 people and infected at least 1,700 people. 

    The SARS-like disease has also crossed-border from China to Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia which has confirmed 13 Wuhan coronavirus cases combined. As reports suggest, the virus has yet spread into Indonesia despite reports of multiple suspected cases. 

    This issue was raised by a lung specialist Dr. Erlina Burhan who theorizes there are a plethora of factors backing the presumption that Indonesians do not face a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. One of them is the country’s tropical climate. 

    “The virus will die under heated conditions. [The viruses] should fail to survive if exposed in the air and heat. That is why Indonesia faces a lower risk,” said Erlina Burhan in an event held by the University of Indonesia’s faculty of medicine (FKUI) on Thursday, January 30.

    She also explained that Indonesians are used to consuming simple nourishments from general sources of food; “Unlike in China or other Asian countries that eat large meals [consist of] snakes or bats that possibly carry the coronavirus,” said Erlina. 

    Moreover, the lung specialist argues that the habit of only eating properly cooked meals is one of many driving factors. Unlike in other Asian countries that have high-rate consumption of uncooked meats. “Raw meats that are colder in temperature are favorite places for viruses. But it would die if exposed to heat [or cooked],” she said.

    Sarah Ervina Dara Siyahailatua