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Jakarta Post

University student becomes first suspected case of coronavirus in Maluku 

  • Belseran Christ

    The Jakarta Post

Ambon   /   Thu, February 13, 2020   /   07:13 pm
University student becomes first suspected case of coronavirus in MalukuĀ  Medical personnel wearing sterile clothing enter the laboratory of the Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes) in Jakarta, on Tuesday. (Antara/Galih Pradipta)

A 19-year-old university student from Sifnana village, Tanimbar Islands regency, Maluku, has been quarantined after showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus. 

The student, identified only as BN, arrived in Ambon on Feb. 7, in poor health following a visit to Malaysia, which has had 19 confirmed coronavirus cases. He has been treated at the Magretty Saumlaki public hospital in the Tanimbar Islands since Wednesday. 

“As of now, [BN] is a suspected coronavirus patient,” Tanimbar Islands Health Agency head Edwin Tomasoa said on Thursday. 

He added that while awaiting the test results from a laboratory in Surabaya, East Java, the patient would be quarantined in the hospital’s isolation room for the next 14 days. The patient will only be allowed to leave the facility if the test comes back negative. 

Read also: Coronavirus scare triggers stigma against students, Chinese Indonesians

Magretty Saumlaki public hospital director Fulfully Ch. Nuniary explained that the physical examination showed that the patient was in a stable condition and had not exhibited further symptoms. 

Nuniary said that BN had complained of having difficulty breathing but that those symptoms had since subsided.

She added that when the patient was asked about his medical history, he mostly complained about back pain. 

“Tomorrow we will ask for [medical] equipment from Ambon to deliver sputum samples to Surabaya. We will wait for the laboratory results,” she said. “I ask residents not to worry, but remain alert, because right now this is still only a suspected [case].” 

As of Thursday, there were no confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia. (ydp)