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May 20, 2021, 03.41 AM

JAKARTA, – The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast its shadow over Jakarta and its surrounding areas, after health officials announced that they found the B.1.617 strain of the coronavirus from India in a part of the capital.

Jakarta Health Services official for the Surveillance and Immunization Division Ngabila Salama confirmed that officials found the B.1.617 variant in an undisclosed district, following a massive track and tracing effort.

“We have found a case [of the Indian Covid-19 variant] and vaccinated the carriers. The strain was transmitted to the individual locally, not from overseas,” she said on Wednesday.

“We carried out the vaccinations after we gathered the samples of the inhabitants and double checked them.”

Also read: Indonesia Sends Aid to India in the Form of Oxygen Tanks tried to verify Ngabila’s account to Jakarta Health Services head Widyastuti. But she has yet to comment at the time of publication. Her counterpart in the neighboring province of Banten, Ati Pramudji, confirmed the Jakarta Health Services’ findings.

“The B.1.617 Covid-19 variant has found its way to [the Jakarta satellite city of] South Tangerang. The mutation was transmitted to a couple in South Tangerang’s North Serpong district. they are currently monitored by Banten Province’s Covid-19 Task Force,” she said.

“We suspect that they are infected by one of their children who lived in Jakarta.”

Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has warned that there at least 26 known cases of the B.1.617, B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 strains from India, South Africa and Great Britain in Indonesia.

Also read: 59 Arrivals From India Contracted Covid-19, Says Indonesian Health Official

“The [B.1.617, B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 variants] are categorized as ‘variants of concern’ by the World Health Organization [WHO], because these [Covid-19] strains greatly increase their chances of transmission,” he said.

“It is imperative that we isolate those who are transmitted [by these mutations]. We should also be disciplined in carrying out testing and tracing to find these cases.”

The Worldometers website said that India has 25,495,144 Covid-19, the second highest number of cases after the United States. 283,276 Indians have died of the coronavirus, while 21,979,703 people are confirmed to recover from Covid-19.

Many of the cases occurred during a surge of the disease last March and April.

(Writer: Singgih Wiryono | Editor : Sabrina Asril)


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