An Indonesian soldier wears a specially-designed helmet that can measure body temperature of another person within a 10-meter distance. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Military)

Military Academy Contributes to Sudden Surge in West Java's Covid-19 Cases


JULY 10, 2020

Jakarta. A sudden surge in coronavirus cases in West Java on Thursday was mainly triggered by infection data from the Military Academy in the provincial capital of Bandung, the National Covid-19 Task Force has said. 

Indonesia’s largest province reported a staggering 962 new cases, the highest daily rise ever reported by a single province since the outbreak. 

That led to a new one-day record of 2,657 cases countrywide, 43 percent higher than the previous high a day earlier. The country has never reported more than 2,000 cases in a day since first cases were detected early in March.

However, task force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said the surge was isolated in a single cluster and 14-day quarantine was already in place.

He also said hundreds of new cases being reported on Thursday were accumulated from test results at the academy since late June.

“The number came from the cluster where we have concluded epidemiological screening within consecutive days since June 29,” Achmad said in Jakarta.

The screening at the academy for would-be army officers found 1,262 positive cases among cadets and trainers, some of them had been added to earlier daily updates on Covid-19.

Of the infected soldiers, 17 were admitted to the Dustira Hospital in the neighboring town of Cimahi with symptoms like fever, coughs and breathing difficulties, Achmad said. 

The rest were asymptomatic cases and all of them were placed under quarantine.

“The entire facilities of the academy for would-be army officers in Bandung have been isolated. People movement to and from the compound is strictly prohibited,” Achmad said.

Medical staffs from the provincial and municipal health agencies as well as personnel from the Siliwangi Military Command were involved to impose the quarantine to prevent further transmission, he said.

“We make sure that there is no transmission outside the compound, which is put under maximum surveillance,” he said. 

Families of the infected cadets and trainers are banned from paying a visit until the quarantine is completed, but they can communicate over cellphones, he added.