Health Ministry Views New Covid-19 Strain as Terrorist



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin in a hearing with the House legislators likened the new Covid-19 strain discovered in European countries to a terrorist and saw that the ministry he leads as the intelligence that is tasked to conduct early detection. 

    Initially, he claimed that he was unsure whether the new virus strain first detected in London had found its way into Indonesia or not. “I am aware of the fact that when I am asked if the virus has arrived in Indonesia, I would answer that I do not know yet,” said the Health Minister on Tuesday, January 12.

    He elaborated to members of the House that fighting against a virus is like fighting in a real war. The minister, therefore, asserted the importance of having the intelligence to monitor the new virus strain.

    “The intelligence doesn’t come from the Defense Minister but the Health Minister,” said Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

    Budi believes Indonesia’s 12 laboratories run by established institutions such as the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology, and labs run under the government could launch the surveillance through genome sequencing to determine whether the coronavirus in Indonesia had mutated. 

    The initial plan was to conduct routine testing on Covid-19 samples from a number of airports or cities that are often visited by international visitors. He explained that the ministry is eyeing this week to verify if the new virus strain has entered Indonesia. 

    Read: Malaysia King Declares State of Emergency for Covid-19 until August