Pekanbaru, Riau - Riau Governor Syamsuar has called on the provincial government's health workers to prioritize the administration of rapid test kits on Indonesian migrant workers returning home from Malaysia owing to the neighboring country's lockdown policy.
"I urge the provincial health authority to prepare rapid test kits for 448 people under surveillance in Pekanbaru. They will simultaneously get the tests on Thursday," he noted in a press statement that ANTARA received in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Wednesday.
Governor Syamsuar urged his people to understand the priority given to returning migrant workers since their number tended to increase by the day. Those returning from Malaysia are categorized as people under surveillance.
In addition, several residents of Riau Province returned home from various cities in Java Island, including Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta, which had confirmed COVID-19 cases. They were also to be placed under surveillance, he pointed out.
The Riau Health Office's data, as of Wednesday morning, indicated 16,694 people under surveillance and 115 patients under surveillance, he stated, adding that the results of the rapid tests were expected to be known soon.
Those diagnosed with symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) would immediately be quarantined or hospitalized, Riau Governor Syamsuar remarked.
On Tuesday, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) cautioned that several countries that had been able to flatten the curve of their confirmed COVID-19 cases are currently challenged by imported cases that had overseas travel records.
China, South Korea, and Singapore are among the countries currently facing what he terms as a novel wave of the new coronavirus disease-related threats.
In connection with this problem, the government has reiterated the significance of handling the mobility of Indonesians and foreigners arriving in the country, he said.
"Our priority is, now, not just handling the mobility of our people in Indonesia but also tackling the COVID-19 risks posed by those arriving from overseas trips," he noted, adding that COVID-19 cases were found in 202 countries and territories.
Over this past week, the COVID-19 epicenters had also moved, from mainland China to the United States and several European countries.
Hence, President Jokowi reiterated the significance of strengthening policies on handling the inflows of foreign nationals and Indonesians arriving from overseas travel.
As of Tuesday (March 31), Indonesia had 1,528 confirmed cases of which 81 were discharged from hospitals, while 136 others died of this deadly virus. (ANTARA)