TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Achmad Yurianto, the Health Ministry’s Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, clarified that the ministry's employees who tested positive for COVID-19 positive were not infected in the ministry's building. Thus, it could not be said as an office cluster.
“Based on our contact tracing on all employees who tested positive for COVID-19, the virus transmission did not occur inside the building. So now it cannot be said as an office cluster, but rather the Jabodetabek cluster,” said Yurianto as quoted from the ministry’s official page Kemkes.go.id on Monday, September 21.
The Jakarta administration’s data previously revealed that the Health Ministry had the highest number of COVID-19 cases. As of September 18, the ministry reported 252 infections.
According to him, a place can be considered an infection cluster if the transmission occurs in that area. Meanwhile, the virus spread did not happen in the Health Ministry, he added.
Many employees of the ministry, he went on, lived in the Jakarta Greater Area or Jabodetabek. They usually departed from their homes to their offices by various transportation choices, so the virus spread might occur anywhere.
Most of the employees were also tasked outside the office, such as the Port Health Offices, either at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport or the Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport. Some of them also had duties in the Athlete’s Dorm emergency COVID-19 hospital that accommodated thousands of new patients per day, he explained.
“They were then exposed to the virus. The standard operating protocols have been applied well, but the risk of work is substantial. Some of the employees also work in laboratories. They do not meet any patient but deal with the virus directly,” he added.
Presently, Achmad Yurianto claimed most of the employees who contracted COVID-19 had recovered. “There are less than 10 people who are still undergoing individual isolation. The rest have recovered and back to work again,” he said.