An officer distributes masks to passengers at Raden Sadjad Airport in Ranai, Natuna – where the Wuhan evacuees are being quarantined – on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/M. Risyal Hidayat)

Health Ministry Dispatches Medical Supplies for Wuhan Evacuees in Natuna Quarantine

BY :TARA MARCHELIN, BERITASATU

FEBRUARY 04, 2020

Jakarta. The Health Ministry on Monday dispatched medical supplies, including self-protection equipment, masks and two autoclaves, to Natuna where Indonesian nationals who were evacuated from the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, on Sunday are being quarantined.

The ministry's spokeswoman, Widyawati, said the government will ensure the evacuees have enough supplies during their 14-day quarantine.

"We want to make sure the evacuees are free from the coronavirus, and also well-fed and comfortable during their quarantine. We will monitor their supplies constantly and restock if necessary," Widyawati said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Batam's Airport Health Office (KKP) has also sent self-protection equipment to Natuna, comprising 23,000 masks, 240 bottles of hand sanitizer, 24 bottles of liquid antiseptic soap and two loads of basic medicines. 

The medical supplies from the Health Ministry were sent on board a military Hercules airplane.

No Confirmed Case So Far

According to the ministry's Health Research and Development Board (Balitbangkes) – the official authority for detecting the spread of the coronavirus in Indonesia with accreditation from the World Health Organization (WHO), all the recent pneumonia-like cases in Indonesia with symptoms similar to a coronavirus infection have so far tested negative to the deadly virus that has so far killed 427 people, all but two in mainland China.

Nevertheless, Anung Sugihantono, the Health Ministry's disease control and prevention director-general, said all the patients have been put in the "people under observation" list and will be monitored constantly.

He said the ministry will keep monitoring and gathering information from every district in Indonesia to prevent the coronavirus from entering Indonesia. 

"As of today, the Balitbangkes has received 38 specimens from 26 hospitals all over Indonesia and, thank God, all of them had tested negative [for the coronavirus]," Anung said at the Health Ministry headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday.

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