Indonesian medical workers conduct coronavirus drill in Banyumas, Central Java, on Monday. The simulation is meant to evaluate preparedness across the country in handling coronavirus patients and containing transmission of the virus. (Antara Photo/Idhad Zakaria)

Five Chinese Workers Placed Under Quarantine in North Sumatra


FEBRUARY 08, 2020

Medan. Indonesian authorities have put five Chinese nationals under a two-week quarantine in North Sumatra for coronavirus scare, a local health official said on Friday.

The Chinese, four men and a woman, work in a power plant project in Kabanjahe, Tanah Karo district.

Three of them arrived at the Kualanamu International Airport in Medan on Jan. 31, while their two colleagues landed on Feb. 3. 

Tanah Karo Health Department head Irna Safrina Sembiring Meliala said the quarantine started three days ago and so far the five workers had not shown serious illness. Identities of the workers were not disclosed.

Other workers were advised to avoid contact with the patients and to wear face masks all the time at the project location.

“We employ two medical staffs to observe their conditions and they will be on duty until the end of the quarantine period. We don't substitute the two to minimize contact,” she said.

If a more serious symptom such as pneumonia is detected, the five Chinese will be transferred to the Adam Malik Hospital in Medan for further treatment, she said.

The five workers are isolated in a building near the project site.

A supervisor in the project who identified himself only as Ginting said the isolation was carried out at the request of the management and other workers. 

“They are put in a separate building inside the complex,” Ginting said. 

He said the Chinese workers could understand the request and duly obey the instruction to stay in quarantine.

"They have previously undergone several medical checkups at the airport and at the project site. They were sprayed with disinfectant and told to avoid contact with other workers," he said.

Indonesia has not reported a local coronavirus case so far, but more than 300 people, including 238 evacuees from China's Hubei, are currently being placed under quarantine on Natuna Island on the country's northern maritime border.

A female worker in Singapore recently became the first Indonesian to test positive for coronavirus in a locally-transmitted case.