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Jakarta Post

Chinese workers in North Sumatra test negative for COVID-19 after 14-days of quarantine

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Tue, February 18, 2020   /   07:11 pm
Chinese workers in North Sumatra test negative for COVID-19 after 14-days of quarantine A doctor examines the CT image of lungs while making his rounds on Feb. 3 in a ward of a quarantine zone in Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak in China's central Hubei province. (AFP/STR)

Five Chinese workers at the Lau Bilang hydropower plant (PLTA) in Kandibata village of Karo regency, North Sumatra, have tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) after undergoing a 14-day quarantine at the power project site.

The five workers – consisting of one woman identified only as GZ and four men with the initials TY, GL, HD and YH – have been allowed to interact with their colleagues at the project site after they were declared healthy.

Karo Health Agency head Irna Syafrina Meliala said the five Chinese nationals ended their observation period on Sunday after they showed no symptoms of COVID-19 infection during the 14-day quarantine period.

“The five Chinese workers showed no symptoms of being infected by the coronavirus, which includes fever, shortness of breath and coughing. They are healthy,” Irna told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, adding that they were allowed to get back to work.

Read also: Five Chinese workers isolated at N. Sumatra project site after returning from China

She added that the Chinese nationals were previously quarantined not because they tested positive for the infection, but because they had just returned from celebrating the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25 in their home country.

The five workers went to China prior to the holiday and returned to Karo on Feb. 3. They immediately went into self-imposed quarantine in their respective rooms – in line with the procedures set by the Health Ministry.

The project management put a barrier line in front of their rooms to prevent other workers from approaching them. Their food was brought by same personnel every day, in order to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 spreading.

Officials of the Karo Health Agency had visited the project site when the five workers were put in the quarantine area, as reported by tribunnews.com. The agency’s officials said the five workers did not experience fever or any other symptoms of the disease, either upon arrival at the airport or during the quarantine.

Irna suggested members of the general public be alert and maintain healthy lifestyles, as well as cleanliness.

COVID-19 has killed nearly 2,000 people, including five outside of mainland China, AFP reported. It has also infected more than 70,000 people globally since it first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December. (syk)