While nearly two months have passed since the public announcement of the coronavirus epidemic first detected in Wuhan, China, a country has apparently remained unharmed by the epidemic.
In eight weeks, the virus has now spread to 33 countries in the past nine days. More than 87,000 people worldwide have been infected, with the virus appearing on all continents except Antarctica.
Indonesia, however, including the famous island of Bali, claims to have the resources to deal with a coronavirus outbreak, defending their detection procedures in the Southeast Asian nation of over 260 million, where no reports have been reported. cases.
The world’s fourth most populous nation has tested 141 suspect cases in total, a small figure for its population, raising concern among medical professionals about the lack of alertness and the risk of undetected cases.
Reportedly, neighboring Malaysia performed approximately 1000 tests and Britain over 10,000.
“We cannot doubt our abilities and the facts we collect,” said Muhammad Syahril, director of the Sulianti Saroso hospital in Jakarta, the capital, when asked why Indonesia had no cases detected.
RELATED: Passengers aboard the Qatari flight urged to go to the hospital
“If we don’t have cases, we don’t have cases,” he said in an interview with the hospital on Friday. “Why should we cover it?”
Sulianti Saroso is the main Indonesian hospital for the management of suspected virus cases, among the 135 designated for the task.
Their health minister defended the country’s screening process for coronavirus, stating that the absence of confirmed cases in the fourth most populous nation in the world is a “blessing of the Almighty”.
Indonesia’s efforts included screening the temperatures of arrivals at airports and advising those who later feel unwell should contact the health authorities.
The hospital offers 11 isolation rooms for patients with symptoms such as pneumonia, Syahril said, adding that three people were treated while 21 were in isolation before the negative test.
The hospital was ready to face any epidemic, armed with experience gained in the management of diseases such as the 2003-2004 acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.
An Indonesian health ministry official previously reported to Reuters that some hospitals, particularly in eastern Indonesia, had a lower ability to handle virus cases. Fueling concern about Indonesia’s vulnerability, four infections were confirmed in travelers who had spent time there, including a Japanese citizen living in Malaysia and one returning to New Zealand from Iran via the island of Bali.
reported: What are the odds of dying from coronavirus
The ministry of health declined to comment, but claimed that its laboratory has been accredited by the WHO.
On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison questioned Indonesian claims that he is coronavirus-free.
Morrison told 3AW radio station that the zero infection rate in Indonesia was probably due to their low test capability.
“It is a very large country with many islands and it would be very difficult to be able to give absolute guarantees on these numbers,” he said.
Indonesian Political Professor of Australian National University Greg Fealy added that he did not think Indonesia was lying about their cases.
“I think it is more likely that there are coronavirus patients who have not been detected,” he said on 3AW.
While neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore have smaller populations than Indonesia, they each conducted at least 10 times more tests and recorded more than 150 cases among them.
Australia and Thailand reported their first deaths on Sunday, while the Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic recorded their first infections.
Italian authorities have announced that the number of infected people in the country has increased by 40% to 1576 in 24 hours and that five other people have died, bringing the death toll to 34.
The number of infections in Ian, Iraq and South Korea, among other things, has also increased. Cases in the United States rose to at least 72, with the first death recorded in the United States on Saturday – a man in his fifties in Washington state who had underlying health problems but had not traveled to any affected area.
The lack of confirmed cases in Indonesia “could suggest the potential for undetected cases,” researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the United States said in a study this month.
They indicated its direct air links to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic.
Indonesia has banned visitors who have been to China for 14 days from entering and stopped flights. An estimated 100,000 people have traveled to Bali since the virus outbreak began in late December. And as a main tourist destination for Chinese travelers, fears are growing that the coronavirus may spread to Bali without being discovered. However, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce’s Smart Traveler website has not yet issued any coronavirus travel advice for Indonesia or Bali.