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Tuesday, 18 February 2020 08:22

102 Specimens of Suspected COVID-19 Patients Tested Negative: Minister

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The Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy (second left), Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and the Director General of Customs Office Heru Pambudi in a press conference on COVID-19 on Monday (Feb 17, 2020). The Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy (second left), Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and the Director General of Customs Office Heru Pambudi in a press conference on COVID-19 on Monday (Feb 17, 2020). ANTARA

Jakarta - Indonesia's Health Ministry has declared 102 out of 104 specimens of suspected coronavirus patients negative, while the test for two other samples has yet to complete, the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said.

"Based on the report of the Director General of Health Ministry, there are 104 specimens from across Indonesia that have been tested in the ministry's laboratory for infectious disease. Of the number, 102 are tested negative and two other are still under laboratory test," Effendy said after a coordination meeting at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Monday.

Present at the meeting are Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, and the Director General of Customs of the Finance Ministry Heru Pambudi.

Effendy said, the government would continue to tighten monitoring at the country's entrance gates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We also track the journey records of those who want to enter Indonesia, in accordance to the standard set by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. For instance, those who have in the last 14 days traveled to the epicenter of the outbreak in mainland China. We will monitor this closely," he said.

He also called on people to stay calm and avoid reckless response over any issues regarding to the spread of the virus.

The minister reiterated that Indonesia has standard reagent for testing of specimen taken from patients allegedly contracted the virus.

"The primary reagent is used in cooperation with the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) in Atlanta, the United States, so people should not have any doubt on its capability. We have adequate supply and all hospitals in the country have prepared for it," he said.

Some hospitals have prepared isolation rooms to take care of suspected coronavirus patients.

"Negative pressure isolation room will only be used for emergency patient, while other suspected coronavirus patients can use the common isolation room. We have 227 beds for negative pressure isolation rooms and that would be enough. Insya Allah (God willing) Indonesia can escape this outbreak," he said. (ANTARA)

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