TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Newly-appointed Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin - who replaces Terawan Agus Putranto after a Cabinet Reshuffle - on Wednesday said that it is still unknown whether the mutated Covid-19 strain that has spread in Europe has reached Indonesia.
“Honestly speaking, we do not know yet,” said the Health Minister during his visit to Dr. Hasan Sadikin General Hospital Bandung.
Based on a voice recording sent by the hospital’s public relations, the minister said that the new coronavirus variant is not more lethal than what already exists however confirmed that it does have a tendency to spread quicker than before.
Due to this pressing issue, he said that a formal request had been sent to the Health Ministry’s research and development unit to take random samples from numerous hospitals to track the genetic information from the virus's RNA and DNA.
“It (the new Covid-19 strain) was not found in the six samples that were tested,” said Budi who encouraged people not to panic and hand it to the professionals to seek solutions. “That is the task of the scientists, what is important is that we know its effects.”