Jakarta. The Health Ministry recently announced the new coronavirus B117 variant — which was first detected in the UK — has entered Indonesia, one year since the country confirmed its first two Covid-19 cases.
Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono said the government had discovered two B117 variant cases on Monday night.
"Last year, we detected case 1 and 2 of Covid-19. Last night, exactly a year [after the first two cases], we detected the B117 UK mutation in Indonesia. This is fresh from the oven. We have found two cases last night," Dante said on Tuesday, as quoted from Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu.
"From the 462 [samples] we have checked across the archipelago in the past few months, we have detected two [mutation] cases last night."
The deputy minister, however, did not go into further detail regarding the new variant.
CNN Indonesia reported the government had earlier analyzed the aforementioned 462 samples using the whole genome sequencing (WGS). The provinces which submitted the most samples were Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Banten, and Yogyakarta.
Earlier, Science and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said Indonesia would continue to run sampling using the WGS technique to detect new coronavirus variants. The Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology — as one of the institutions who runs the WGS sampling — targeted to analyze 5,000 samples.