Jakarta. Indonesia confirmed 11 new cases of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 19.
All the new cases involved travelers aged between 21 and 58 who just returned from foreign countries, including nine from Turkey, three from Japan, and one each from South Korea and Saudi Arabia, Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said.
The 11 patients, including a woman, are now being quarantined in Jakarta, but Siti didn’t name the isolation facility.
"The recent findings were a result of increased surveillance at entry gates and improved whole genome sequence analysis on travelers who had earlier tested positive [for Covid-19] that allowed us to immediately take necessary measures,” she said.
She added all citizens are encouraged to refrain from making overseas trips given that most Omicron patients had been infected abroad.
“Especially during these Christmas and year-end holidays, we need to take care of each other,” she said.
Indonesia announced its first Omicron case last week with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin saying a cleaning service worker at Jakarta’s makeshift Covid-19 hospital contracted the virus from a patient who returned from an overseas trip.
But the traveler didn’t undergo genome sequence analysis until he recovered and his case was categorized as “probable Omicron”.