Achmad Yurianto, the spokesperson for Indonesia's novel coronavirus task force, gives an update on the country's effort to contain the Covid-19 outbreak on Friday. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Indonesia Uncovers Two New Coronavirus Cases With Help From Intelligence Agents

BY :LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN

MARCH 06, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia announced two new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, four days after the announcement of the first two cases, bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 patients in Southeast Asia's most populous country to four. 

The two new patients were linked to Patient 1 who hosted a dance party at Amigos Restaurant in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Feb. 14.

Local health authorities now believed a Japanese national, who also attended the party and was later identified as Patient 24 in Malaysia, was the source of the novel coronavirus infection on that day. 

Achmad Yurianto, the spokesperson for Indonesia's Covid-19 task force, said a special team comprising officers from the Jakarta Health Service, the National Police and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) has tracked a total of 80 people who attended the dance party.  

"These include workers at the restaurant who came into contact with Patient 1 and 2, such as the parking attendants, cooks and so on," said Achmad, who is also the secretary of the directorate general of disease prevention and control at the Health Ministry. 

Patient 1's 64-year-old mother became the second novel coronavirus patient in Indonesia after taking care of her daughter at their home. 

Achmad said 20 of the 80 people who attended the dance party showed symptoms related to Covid-19 and a medical team narrowed down the list to seven people who might have been infected with the virus. 

"Out of these seven people, two tested positive for the novel coronavirus. We call them cases number 3 and 4," he said. 

Patients 3 and 4 have complained of being feverish. When measured, their body temperatures were between 37.6 and 37.7 degrees Celsius.

They show symptoms of a cold and have bouts of coughing but have not experienced any shortness of breath.

"We hope to improve their condition very soon," Achmad said.

Achmad refused to say if the new coronavirus patients were male or female, saying only that they were between 33 and 34 years old. 

Achmad said the task force team believes the new patients caught the disease from an individual at the dance party. 

"They don't live in the same house [with the first two patients]. That's for sure," he said. 

"We will continue to trace people who had come into close contact with patients number 3 and 4," he said.

Indonesia has ramped up its effort in tracking and containing the Covid-19 disease, fearing that a prolonged outbreak would severely hurt its tourism, travel and manufacturing industries. 

The country has closed its borders to travelers coming from China and some regions in South Korea, Italy and Iran – countries hardest hit by the outbreak. 

More than 98,700 people around the world have tested positive for Covid-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has killed 3,383 people as of Friday.

Close to 55,500 managed to recover completely from the virus.  

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