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Jakarta Post

Two asylum seekers in South Tangerang contract COVID-19

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 28 2020   /  01:00 am
Affordable test: Medical workers take swab samples from visitors at the Genomik Solidarita Indonesia (GSI) laboratory in Jakarta on Saturday. The government has set the price ceiling for individually requested COVID-19 swab tests at Rp 900,000 (US$60.6) to eliminate price disparities following concerns over the high costs of tests at private laboratories. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Two asylum seekers from Afghanistan have reportedly been exposed to COVID-19 in South Tangerang, Banten.

They are currently being treated at the COVID-19 emergency hospital within the complex of the former athletes village in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

"They have been referred to the [site of the former] Kemayoran athletes village," South Tangerang COVID-19 task force coordinator Suhara Manullang said on Monday as quoted by

According to Suhara, the two foreigners, who are currently in self-isolation at a facility provided by the South Tangerang administration, were transferred to the emergency hospital so that the central government could directly treat and monitor them.

The two asylum seekers were declared COVID-19-positive after undergoing independent swab tests at a private hospital. Upon receiving the test results, the two individuals reported to a community health center (Puskesmas) near their shelter in Pisangan, South Tangerang.

“I didn’t know the details behind why they took the swab test,” Suhara said.

They were later referred to COVID-19 isolation facilities in the regency for the safety of those at their shelter – home to 97 asylum seekers.

Following the news, Puskesmas Pisangan in East Ciputat district announced plans to hold mass swab tests for all asylum seekers in the shelter.

“I have coordinated with the Health Agency. The Puskesmas will trace their contacts probably on Wednesday,” Suhara said.

Data from the national COVID-19 task force show that as of Tuesday, 545 foreigners had tested positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia. At least 331 of them have returned to their home countries.

Indonesia has barred entry of foreigners since April.

However, it has continued to push for the establishment of an ASEAN travel corridor despite having been slapped with travel bans by other countries that fear the possibility of imported cases from the archipelago. 

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is providing special lanes for passengers traveling between Indonesia and Singapore, as the two countries previously agreed to establish a travel corridor to facilitate urgent diplomatic missions and essential business trips. 

The travel arrangement, called the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), came into effect on Oct. 26. 

Travelers using the special lanes will have to go through thermal scanners at terminals prior to stopping at a check-in counter, where they are required to show a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result that is valid for 72 hours. 

They must then verify their health through the electronic health alert card (e-HAC) application before they are allowed to board the plane.

For arriving travelers, as soon as they reach the arrival terminal, they are required to pass check-in clearance through e-HAC, which they would have filled out upon departure.

They must then pass the immigration and customs counters before reaching the PCR testing area. If they test negative, they are allowed to continue their trip to Indonesia. However, if the PCR test shows a positive result, the traveler would have to undergo quarantine. (iwa)



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