First local transmission of Omicron confirmed in Indonesia


The Health Ministry has detected the first local case of transmission of the COVID-19 variant Omicron involving a domestic traveler to Medan, North Sumatra, and Jakarta.

“The Omicron case from local transmission was reported in a man, with no history of foreign travel nor having come in contact with foreign travelers,” Director of Prevention and Control of Vector and Zoonotic Diseases of the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, noted in a virtual press conference here on Tuesday.

Tarmizi remarked that the 37-year-old man had traveled from Medan and arrived in Jakarta on December 6, 2021. Two weeks later, when he was going back to Medan, the result of the antigen test of the man in question showed a positive result.

When he underwent reaffirmation test by the PCR method a day later, the result also came out positive.

“On December 26, 2021, based on laboratory results, it was confirmed that the patient was exposed to the Omicron variant,” she added.

Although the man was asymptomatic, he was immediately isolated at the Sulianto Saroso Hospital, she noted.

According to Tarmizi, they had traced the places visited by the patient during his stay in Jakarta. This includes restaurants in the SCBD area that he had visited on December 17, 2021.

The test was also conducted on the man’s wife, who traveled along with the patient. Her PCR test result was confirmed to be negative.

The Omicron variant entered Indonesia a while ago. It was first detected in a staff at the Kemayoran Athlete Village’s Hospital, with other probable cases coming from some citizens, who recently arrived from overseas travel, and foreign nationals, who visited Indonesia.

Although data from other countries showed that Omicron did not cause as many deaths as its Delta counterpart, the government is still amping up preventive measures, such as imposing stricter security at national borders, calling for more testing and tracing, and expediting vaccination to meet the national target.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, had implored people to spend their vacation time at domestic tourist attractions in order to thwart the surfacing of new Omicron cases as well as to enjoy the local scenery that was no less beautiful than those of foreign tourist attractions.


Source: Antara News

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