TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Agriculture Ministry’s director-general of animal husbandry and health, I Ketut Diarmita, announced that his office continues to closely monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan, China.
He said that the government is monitoring animal products that enter Indonesia from the virus’ country of origin as reports suggest the coronavirus has similarities to viruses carried by bats.
“Therefore, we are monitoring the animal products that enter Indonesia from countries of the outbreak,” said Ketut to Tempo on Thursday, January 30.
However, Ketut said that there needs to be a deeper investigation to confirm that animals are indeed the carriers of the disease to humans. Even though human-to-human transmission is currently the riskiest means of infection.
As to the Wuhan Virus’ similarity to the SARS and MERS outbreak, he said the government would need to anticipate zoonosis-potential. Ketut called for members of the public to report as soon as possible once a case of animal-transferred coronavirus infections is found and ordered the country’s veterinary halls to investigate the reports.
Multiple government agencies closely related to the traffic of animal products into Indonesia have voiced similar concerns and have committed to monitor the entry of animal imports.