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Jakarta Post

[UPDATED] Jakarta looks into report of suspected coronavirus case

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 23, 2020   /   04:23 pm
[UPDATED] Jakarta looks into report of suspected coronavirus case Health Quarantine warning are shown in front of the thermal scanner from the Port Health Office (KKP) at the Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar, Bali 01/22/2020. (JP/Zul Trio Anggoro)

The Jakarta Health Agency said on Thursday it was looking into reports of a suspected case of the coronavirus that first emerged in the city of Wuhan in China at the end of last year. 

The reported patient, who is suffering from fever, is an employee of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which has its office in the BRI building in Jakarta.

“We are checking [the report],” Jakarta Health Agency head Widyastuti told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. 

State-owned lender BRI corporate secretary Hari Purnomo issued a statement that the patient had been taken to a nearby hospital for further diagnosis of the pneumonia-like virus.

Read also: Health Minister dismisses reports of coronavirus case in Jakarta

He later said that the hospital had diagnosed the patient as having a sore throat. When asked for comments, the Health Ministry's surveillance and quarantine director, Vensya Sitohang, said that the ministry would coordinate with BRI in relation with the case.

Hari said that BRI had carried out safety risk management for all BRI employees by distributing face masks to every employee working at the building.

The coronavirus, which bears similarities to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), was first detected on Dec. 31, 2019 in Wuhan. The new strain of the virus has infected more than 500 people to date, killing at least 17, AFP reported.

Following the reports, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto paid a visit to the BRI building on Thursday afternoon. When asked for confirmation, the minister said the employee had not been infected by the Wuhan virus.

"If he's been infected with a virus, then it might be ISPA [an acute respiratory infection], which is common among us," Terawan said.


Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the health minister's statement.