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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 suspect in Palembang tests negative after second examination

  • Yulia Savitri

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang, South Sumatra   /   Tue, February 25, 2020   /   03:30 pm
COVID-19 suspect in Palembang tests negative after second examination Illustration of coronavirus (COVID-19) (Shutterstock/Lightspring)

A patient at Mohammad Hoesin General Hospital (RSMH) in Palembang, South Sumatra, has been declared negative for COVID-19 following a second examination.

Head of the RSMH emerging infectious disease team Zein Ahmad said that the 62-year-old patient was first tested on Feb. 17. The patient was experiencing breathing problems after returning from a trip to Malaysia. On Feb. 21, the examination result stated that the patient was free from coronavirus infection. On Feb. 22, the hospital’s research staff examined the patient’s blood sample and larynx tissue.

“The result of the final diagnosis has been released already, and the patient officially tests negative for coronavirus,” Zein said on Monday. “[The patient’s] condition is stable with a normal temperature,” he added.

The hospital decided to conduct a second laboratory examination on the patient given that Malaysia is one of the countries that has reported COVID-19 cases. The patient’s health record from their previous hospital revealed that they also suffered from heart problems.

Read also: South Sumatra resident put in quarantine for showing symptoms of pneumonia

Although the hospital was satisfied that the patient suffered from an acute lung inflammation due to a bacterial infection, RSMH decided to put them in an isolated room after seeing their travel record to Malaysia. 

South Sumatra Health Agency head Lesti Nuraini said that she had already received the report on the patient. The information had also been delivered to the patient’s family, which allowed them to publish the news. 

Lesti said that the patient’s family was in constant contact seeking treatment updates. 

“We’ve always communicated about [the patient’s] condition in the isolation room with the family. The family might feel very worried considering that they saw the patient being treated in an isolation room with special equipment,” she said. 

She added that her team had already quarantined 40 South Sumatra residents who had returned from trips to China since Jan. 29. The quarantine period is 14 days as stipulated in the standard procedures. The health agency is being assisted by community health center workers from the patients’ respective areas.

The latest update states that 34 people have tested negative, while six others are still in quarantine. 

“So far we can declare that South Sumatra is safe, we have no cases here,” Lesti said. 

Read also: Palembang won’t let coronavirus fears spoil Cap Go Meh

To prevent further virus transmission, the South Sumatra administration has inspected every entry point to the province, as well as instructing every hospital in the regencies and cities to provide isolation rooms.

The government is also urging the public to maintain healthy and hygienic lifestyles. 

Fenty Wardhapada of the Palembang Port Health Authority’s (KKP) quarantine and epidemiology surveillance said that he was keeping an eye on aircraft, cargo vessels and passenger ships at the international arrival sections of airports and seaports, especially for vessels from China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

“We’ve already inspected four vessels from Malaysia and Vietnam today with 71 crew members in total. There is also an incoming direct flight from Malaysia with 100 passengers in total. All is under control,” he said. (dpk)