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Jakarta Post

No Batam-Singapore border closure over Zika, govt says

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands   /   Fri, September 2, 2016   /  09:19 pm
No Batam-Singapore border closure over Zika, govt says Stay alert: A Batam Port Health Office (KKP) worker fumigates areas around the Batam Centre Point International Ferry Terminal in Batam, Riau Islands, on Aug. 31, to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. (Antara/MN Kanwa)

It is not yet a matter of urgency for the Indonesian government to close Batam borders to Singapore following the spread of the Zika virus, which reportedly has infected more than 100 people in the neighboring country, a senior official has said.

“Overall, Batam is ready to face the Zika virus. Because of the capability of every health facility here to handle dengue, Batam is also ready to handle the virus,” the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general Muhammad Subuh said on the sidelines of his visit to the Batam Centre Point International Ferry Terminal on Thursday.

“There’s no need for us to close Batam borders to Singapore because Zika is not dangerous. It’s a mild disease. It’s true however that the virus affects pregnant woman, endangering fetuses,” he went on.

Citing Health Ministry data, Muhammad said 119 people had been infected with Zika in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gusti Ngurah Swajaya said the Indonesian Embassy was closely paying attention to the spread of the Zika virus in the country, including in monitoring the condition of Indonesian citizens possibly infected with the virus.

“We have continued to coordinate with the Singaporean government. It has given us extensive information on the spread of the disease,” said Swajaya.

He further said the Foreign Ministry had issued a travel advisory for Indonesians wishing to visit Singapore in anticipation of the virus spreading. “There has not yet been a travel warning. It’s just a travel advisory,” said Swajaya, adding that the Singaporean government was working hard to contain Zika and was coordinating quite closely with Indonesian authorities. (ebf)

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