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Jakarta Post

East Java begins contact tracing for six confirmed COVID-19 cases

  • Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   06:49 pm
East Java begins contact tracing for six confirmed COVID-19 cases Residents wait to get tested for the coronavirus at Airlangga University Hospital in Surabaya, East Java, on Tuesday. (Antara/Moch Asim)

East Java's COVID-19 task force will begin contact tracing for six people in Surabaya who tested positive for the virus, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said on Tuesday.

Khofifah said the task force, backed by a team of 30 physicians with expertise in infectious diseases, would soon begin the process for the six people, all residents of the provincial capital.

"We, together with the team of experts, will trace where and with whom they made contact in the days before the test results of their samples came out positive," Khofifah told reporters on Tuesday evening after meeting with East Java businesspeople at the Grahadi Building in Surabaya. "How this virus has spread has just been unpredictable.”

She said the task force created a “contact tracing map" for the six patients but refused to release it to the public, saying it could trigger anxiety among communities living in areas the patients previously visited.

Read also: Indonesia's confirmed COVID-19 cases may spike in upcoming days, govt warns

The patients were in stable condition, she said, adding that some of them went to the hospital on their own initiative and asked for the COVID-19 test. 

Earlier on Tuesday morning, East Java COVID-19 mitigation task force head Heru Tjahjono said 26 patients under surveillance and 15 potential COVID-19-positive patients were being cared for at isolation wards at 22 hospitals in the province.

He said the hospitals were in Surabaya, Malang, Sidoarjo, Pasuruan, Tulungagung and Banyuwangi.

He also said that, in Surabaya alone, the number of isolation ward rooms at several of the 44 referral hospitals in the province was capped at 132.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Indonesia reported 227 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths.