Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 Indonesia: Indian variant, reused swabs, holiday travel ban

Neill Fronde

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Indonesian Covid-19 workers (via Flickr ILO Asia-Pacific)

Indonesia is experiencing an average of 5,000 new Covid-19 cases each day over the past week, and the Indian variant has now arrived as well. The Health Ministry confirmed this week that 2 patients had been infected by what has been identified as the B.1.617 variant of the Coronavirus, commonly known as the more contagious Indian strain. Indonesia is often somewhat of a sleeping giant as Asia’s third (and the world’s fourth) most populous nation but trailing India and China by about 1 billion people each. The country has seen 1.7 million Coronavirus infections and 46,496 fatalities due to Covid-19.

A recent scandal broke at Indonesia’s Medan Airport in North Sumatra as the employees at the state-owned Kimia Farma pharmaceutical company are accused of rinsing cotton swabs with alcohol and then repackaging them to be used for Covid-19 nasal swabs. Police suspect more than 9,000 people may have used these recycled swab kits which were sold to thousands of travellers.

The 5 employees have been fired for violating the health laws and consumer protection act, and the company may face civil lawsuits, especially if Covid-19 is spread through Indonesia because of the incident. Police are investigating if 1 employee built a new home using 1.8 billion Indonesian rupiahs (nearly 4 million baht) from the scam’s profits. 2 lawyers who may have used the swabs are already gathering victims for a class-action lawsuit seeking 1 billion rupiahs (about 2.2 million baht) per passenger.

Meanwhile, Indonesia faces a similar situation that caused Covid-19 outbreaks in Cambodia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka when people travelled on holiday and family visits for New Year’s holiday last month. Ramadan is coming to a close and millions of people traditionally travel to their hometowns to be with family for the Eid al-Fitr celebration. It is a Mudik holiday, which is one where people who have migrated away from their families return home to be together.

Indonesia banned all domestic travel between May 6 to May 17, but despite the Covid-19 spread, 7% of Indonesians, about 18 million people, said they were still planning on travelling for the holiday. The ban is more than just a cancellation of flights, train, buses, and ferries. It is a wide-sweeping edict that includes public and private journeys, so even motorcycles, personal cars, and private boats are forbidden to travel.

4,000 security personnel will be deployed to metropolitan Jakarta to enforce the restriction. 11,500 military personnel and 90,000 police officers are expected to be posted around the country, with about 155,000 people in total working to enforce the travel restriction.

The Indonesian government hopes that it can avoid further outbreaks for the country that already has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia.

Read about the current Covid-19 situation in countries around South and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, The Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

SOURCE: The Guardian and CNN

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video45 mins ago

Green line extension price issues, Hua Hin Peeping Toms | Good Morning Thailand | Ep.148

Thailand1 hour ago

BBC plans to reproduce Thailand’s hit TV show “Block Out” for British television

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand Top Stories | PM says ‘no added restrictions’, Chiang Mai ‘cardigan girl | Dec 8

advertiseadvertise
Crime1 hour ago

Wounded man flees to police station, says employer beat him, forced him to drink urine

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Bars warned it takes proper accreditation to be a restaurant

Bangkok2 hours ago

470 million baht “soapy” massage venue and business up for sale in Bangkok

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pollution2 hours ago

Authorities warn of “unhealthy” levels of air pollution in Bangkok, elsewhere this week

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Malaysia and China to collaborate in developing Covid-19 vaccine

World3 hours ago

Jetstar Asia to operate vaccinated travel lane between Bangkok and Singapore

World3 hours ago

Top US scientist says Omicron “almost certainly” no more severe than Delta

Phuket3 hours ago

More and more digital nomads choose Phuket for a “workation”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thai PM says another national lockdown “unlikely” despite Omicron variant

Coronavirus World4 hours ago

Omicron unlikely to be more severe or to fully evade vaccines: WHO

Thailand18 hours ago

17 people in close contact with Omicron-infected traveller test negative

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Omicron under control, Illegal border crossing, Thailand’s recovery | Dec 7

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism10 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending