Indonesia’s health ministry reports two Omicron deaths

Two patients have died of Omicron in Indonesia in the first fatalities since cases of this variant of COVID-19 were first reported in the country, the Health Ministry said. “One case was a local transmission who passed away at Sari Asih Ciputat Hospital while the other one was an international traveler who died at Sulianti Saroso Hospital,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, informed. The two patients had comorbidities, she noted in a press statement released on Saturday. Meanwhile, Indonesia added 3,205 COVID-19 cases on Saturday along with 627 recoveries and…

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New normal should be ‘now normal’ for controlling COVID-19: expert

The new normal habits, which involve the observance of stringent health protocols, should be “now normal” to control the recent COVID-19 surge, Prof. Tjandra Yoga Aditama from the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Medicine has said. “The rise of COVID-19 cases that have exceeded more than two thousand today has to be controlled through additional efforts,” he wrote in an electronic message on Saturday. “Health protocols cannot simply just be implemented, they should be made more stringent,” he added. He underscored the importance of putting extra effort, such as the…

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Indonesia receives 201st batch of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX scheme

Indonesia received the 201st batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine comprising 1,257,750 doses under the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) on Saturday night. “We, on behalf of the Indonesian government and people, express our great gratitude to COVAX,” Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Communication and Informatics Ministry Usman Kamsong said in a press statement received on Sunday. He said Indonesia has actively established international and multilateral cooperation including through WHO Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator COVAX Facility. COVAX is a global initiative aimed at ensuring equal…

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Surabaya hajj dormitory prepared for quarantine of migrant workers

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said all Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia must be quarantined at the Sukolilo Hajj Dormitory in Surabaya for seven days upon their arrival at Juanda International Airport, as an effort to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the country. “Those who are tested negative for COVID-19 will be quarantined at the Hajj Dormitory while those who are tested positive will be immediately taken to Dr Soetomo Hospital,” Parawansa said here on Sunday. On January 22, as many as 129 Indonesian workers arrived from Malaysia at Terminal 2…

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Bali reminds schools to apply health protocols during offline learning

The Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati has reminded teachers to always apply strict health protocols during the implementation of face-to-face learning. “Even though students have received the COVID-19 vaccination, they must always implement health protocols as one of the main keys to protect themselves,” Sukawati said here, Sunday. Therefore, he had asked teachers and school staffs to pay attention regarding the social distancing between students during offline learning inside and outside the classroom. “Besides social distancing, students attendance in schools would be arranged in schedule. They also…

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Epidemiologist pushes for massive tracing to contain Omicron cases

Epidemiologist from Andalas University, Padang, West Sumatra, Defriman Djafri has called on the government to intensify screening, testing, tracing and analysis of whole genome sequences (WGS) to suppress the spread of COVID-19 Omicron variant in the country. “This strategy is to ensure that we can identify quickly, and the identified cases must be strictly quarantined, on account that the Omicron variant can spread faster than other variants,” Djafri said when contacted by ANTARA here on Sunday. Omicron, which is included as a variant of concern (VOC), he continued, requires serious handling…

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