TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Health Ministry (Kemenkes) on Monday confirmed it had detected COVID-19 cases caused by the B.1.17 strain from the United Kingdom and the B.1.351 virus from South Africa.
Health Ministry spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi stated the imported cases were brought into Indonesia by two Indonesian migrant workers who had returned home.
“The mutations of the new virus were brought by returning Indonesian migrant workers,” she said.
She asserted the migrant workers were currently undergoing isolation in a government-owned quarantine facility and showing positive outcomes.
These cases have officially added to the list of cases caused by the new COVID-19 strains with 14 cases of the B.1.17 and two cases of the B.1.351.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Monday said the mutated coronavirus cases were initially discovered in East Java. “Both cases involved migrant workers that arrived from Malaysia,” he said.
The minister also urged regional governments to increase the number of COVID-19 testing to better detect the new coronavirus variants.