Spike in new cases due to aggressive tracing, tests: spokesperson

Spike in new cases due to aggressive tracing, tests: spokesperson

A screen grab of government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling, Achmad Yurianto, addressing a press conference of the COVID-19 task force in Jakarta on Friday (July 3, 2020). (ANTARA/Prisca Triferna/ac)

The large number of new cases that we have found has been due to the increasingly aggressive tracing measures carried out by the regional Health Offices, accompanied by mass tests [conducted] as follow-up to the tracing
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of new coronavirus cases has registered an increase due to aggressive contact tracing and mass testing conducted by local governments, according to Achmad Yurianto, government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling.

"The large number of new cases that we have found has been due to the increasingly aggressive tracing measures carried out by the regional Health Offices, accompanied by mass tests [conducted] as follow-up to the tracing," he said at a press conference of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling in Jakarta on Friday.

The confirmed cases have emerged as the result of examinations conducted using real-time PCR and Molecular Rapid tests, instead of rapid tests used as guidance for tracing, he noted.

The tests have been conducted as interventions for public health and not as part of the clinical services protocol in hospitals, as there are asymptomatic patients who are able to carry out independent isolation, he added.

With asymptomatic patients being prescribed independent isolation, beds for COVID-19 patients are not being fully utilized, he continued. As per latest task force data, the Bed Occupancy Ratio (BOR), or the percentage of COVID-19 patient beds that are in use, is at a mere 55.5 percent.

Not all patients who are receiving treatment, Yurianto continued, are exhibiting severe symptoms. Some have moderate symptoms, while some are in need of special supervision due to pre-existing health conditions.

In addition to new cases, Yurianto said, some provinces have reported recovery rates of above 70 percent, which is significantly higher than the national recovery rate of around 42 percent.

"This figure will definitely rise because the recovery process takes time," he predicted.

As of 12 p.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020, Indonesia has recorded 60,695 positive COVID-19 cases, with 27,568 patients recovering and 3,036 dying of the virus. (INE)

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