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Jakarta Post

Hundreds of children infected with COVID-19 in Papua

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 15, 2020   /   11:11 am
Hundreds of children infected with COVID-19 in Papua Education for all: Students attend class at YPK junior high school in Sumuri, Bintuni Bay regency, West Papua. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Approximately 289 children below 19 years old have been infected with COVID-19 in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua, an official has said, arguing that the virus transmissions were not from school activities following the recent reopening of schools.

Papua Education, Archive and Library Agency head Christian Sohilait said not every infected child was a student. However, he has yet to receive details on the age demographics of the children who were infected with COVID-19.

“We will track the number of children who were infected with COVID-19 in each regency or city. We will also maintain contact with the schools and teachers regarding school reopenings amid the pandemic,” Christian said as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.

Christian said the infected children did not contract the virus during face-to-face activities at school.

He explained that the data from the Papua COVID-19 prevention task force was a cumulative number from March 22 to Aug. 12. 

The Papua Administration had previously issued a study-from-home policy that began on March 17 to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission. 

“They could have contracted the disease from their parents or other parties,” Christian said.

The Education and Culture Ministry’s early childhood, basic and secondary education director general, Jumeri, reiterated that the transmissions did not occur at school as the ministry’s decision to allow more schools to operate amid the epidemic had only been issued recently.

Previously, data from the COVID-19 prevention task force in Papua revealed that the total cumulative cases for COVID-19 in Papua had reached 3,225. Of the cases, 86 percent were people aged 19 to 58, while 10 percent were 0 to 19 years old. (dpk)