KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s health authorities found a new locally transmitted case of the B.1.617 strain of the coronavirus from India, which is believed to be more dangerous than the original, in a part of the country’s capital.
In an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government will also use the homegrown Covid vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White) in the national Covid-19 jab drive.
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Local Transmission of Indian Covid-19 Variant Found in Greater Jakarta Area
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.”
Kompas.com 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.