The South Tangerang administration in Banten has put a suspected novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient under surveillance amid concerns over a possible outbreak.
“Based on our meeting, there is only one [suspected case]. They’re under surveillance, which means we’re also observing for [symptoms] of other diseases,” South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
The suspected patient was being treated at Permata Hospital in Pamulang, she went on to say.
Separately, South Tangerang Health Agency head Deden Deni said authorities had put the patient under surveillance due to his history of recent travel to Malaysia.
“He returned from Malaysia on Feb. 20, if I’m not mistaken,” Deden said as quoted by kompas.com.
As of Wednesday morning, John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering compiled data showed there were 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, of which 22 had recovered.
The mayor added that the test conducted at Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jakarta on the patient’s sample showed that the individual was not found to exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.
“[…] there has yet to be any sign of the disease, [the suspected case] asked to be put under surveillance at home,” Airin added.
However, the health agency had advised against observing the suspected individual at home. Instead, the agency preferred to keep the suspected case in the hospital, she said.
Several cities in Greater Jakarta have taken anticipatory measures following the announcement of the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday.
According to the Health Ministry’s official coronavirus readiness guidelines, there are two types of COVID-19 cases: patients under observation and patients under surveillance.
A patient who has a fever of over 38 degrees Celsius, cough or sore throat, pneumonia, or travel history to regions with confirmed COVID-19 cases – including outbreak epicenter Wuhan, Hubei province in China – in the last 14 days, as well as contact history with confirmed COVID-19 cases qualifies as a “suspect” and is subject to immediate observation.
The patient’s family members and/or health workers that have come in close contact with them are also subject to surveillance given their contact history.
Meanwhile, a patient under surveillance is an individual who has a fever of over 38 degrees Celsius or an acute respiratory infection without pneumonia, as well as travel history to regions with confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days.
The surveillance will last 14 days to determine whether the patient develops any COVID-19 symptoms. (rfa)
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Foto Cover : Hospital workers wear protective gear as they check blood tests taken from Indonesian students who returned from China in quarantine at a hospital in Banda Aceh on Jan. 29. (AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)