Govt bolsters surveillance system in wake of pandemic, flooding

Govt bolsters surveillance system in wake of pandemic, flooding

Flooding in Jakarta on January 2, 2020. (ANTARA/Katriana)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is streamlining the surveillance system for early detection of cases to deal with the threat of flooding in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

"We have to strengthen this surveillance system," Didik Budijanto, head of the Data and Information Center of the ministry's Directorate of Vector Infectious Diseases and Zoonotics, told ANTARA here Thursday.

The ministry has formulated several strategies to prevent double the burden arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding, as the country is currently transitioning, from the dry to rainy season.

Budijanto reported that under the surveillance system, the ministry had in place an electronic-based information system to conduct vector tracing.

"In our ministry, we have in place an electronic-based information system, a surveillance system for vectors. We strengthen this, so that we can immediately detect where the vectors are for immediate intervention," he explained.

In addition to improvising the surveillance system, the Ministry of Health strengthens early diagnosis and management that should be conducted in cases of diseases with similar symptoms, such as being symptomatic with dengue fever (DHF) and COVID-19, he remarked.

The ministry had also applied another strategy to prevent DHF by striving to control mosquito vectors in an integrated manner through cooperation among members of the community.

Those efforts are undertaken to lower the possibility of dual burdens owing to COVID-19 and DHF.

In patients with DHF exhibiting the same symptoms as COVID-19, Budijanto referred to the cases as co-infection of DHF and COVID-19. He noted that diagnosis in such cases was stipulated in Minister of Health (Kepmenkes) Decree Number 238 of 2020.

"In the event of a dengue coinfection, COVID-19 will be the main diagnosis, while the dengue fever infection will be a secondary diagnosis. This is if they occur at the same time," he added. Related news: New COVID-19 clusters arising in refugee shelters: Epidemiologist
Related news: Central Jakarta city prepares 34 shelters in anticipation of flooding


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