Indonesia has recorded its first instances of a extremely infectious COVID-19 variant first detected in India, the well being minister says, as authorities implore individuals to not journey to their hometowns for the tip of the Muslim fasting month.
Indonesia, which has been attempting to comprise one of many worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, stopped issuing visas final month for foreigners who had been in India within the earlier 14 days.
The 2 instances of the Indian variant, often known as B.1.617, had been present in Jakarta, whereas the minister mentioned a variant first found in South Africa was additionally detected in Bali.
“We have to comprise these instances, whereas there are nonetheless only some of them,” Budi Gunadi Sadikin instructed a digital convention.
Scientists are learning whether or not the B.1.617 variant is guilty for India’s devastating second wave of infections.
The variant has now reached no less than 17 international locations together with Britain, Switzerland and Iran, prompting some governments to shut their borders to individuals touring from India.
Authorities in Indonesia, which is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, have banned the standard mass exodus the place individuals go to relations for the Eid al-Fitr competition for a second yr to curb COVID-19 transmission.
“Don’t return to your hometown. Don’t go on vacation in your hometown. Be affected person,” Doni Monardo, the chief of Indonesia’s COVID-19 activity pressure, instructed the identical information convention.
However earlier than the ban comes into pressure on Thursday some had been leaving now to beat the deadline.
“I simply wished to go dwelling, what’s essential is that we adhere to well being protocols,” mentioned Dasum, a 35-year-old driver from Central Java, talking at a Jakarta bus station.
Indonesia has reported greater than 1.67 million virus infections and 45,700 deaths because the begin of the pandemic, although instances have been declining since peaking in January.
Nonetheless, the positivity fee, or the proportion of individuals examined who’re discovered to have the illness, was nonetheless hovering at greater than 12 per cent on common final month.
The World Well being Organisation considers positivity charges above 5 per cent to be of concern.