Jumhur Hidayat, six other detainees test positive for COVID-19

Jumhur Hidayat, six other detainees test positive for COVID-19

Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) activist Jumhur Hidayat (center) arrived at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) in Jakarta on October 16, 2020 for questioning ANTARA FOTO/Reno Esnir/wsj.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Seven persons detained by the National Police's Criminal Investigation Directorate, including Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) activist Jumhur Hidayat and popular Muslim preacher Sugi Nur Rahardja alias Gus Nur, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.

The detainees had complained of COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing, nausea, and dizziness, and have been undergoing intensive treatment at the Said Soekanto Police Hospital since Sunday, police spokesperson Brig.Gen.Awi Setiyono said here on Monday.

They are among the 170 persons detained by the National Police's Criminal Investigation Directorate and sent to the Salemba Penitentiary, Jakarta, who recently took swab tests, he added.

In the mass tests, 47 prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19, he continued.

While seven of the 47 detainees were admitted to the police hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, on Sunday after they complained of cough, dizziness, and nausea, 40 others were diagnosed as asymptomatic.

They have been isolated in separate prison cells to keep them away from healthy inmates, Setiyono said, adding that the authorities are also providing vitamins and supplements to boost the prisoners' immunity.

The authorities are also conducting contact tracing to ascertain whether the detainees got infected before or after being sent to the Salemba Penitentiary. Currently, a spacious prison cell is shared by five detainees, Setiyono said.

COVID-19 initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread across the globe, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government made an official announcement on the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year.

The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of COVID-19 vaccines to help it win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed a serious threat to public health and the economy.

Over the past few months, the government has made all-out efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.

Moreover, Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

An Indonesian delegation secured access to Chinese COVID-19 vaccines during a meeting with representatives from Cansino, G42, Sinopharm, and Sinovac in China on October 10 this year.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has said the government will likely commence the first phase of COVID-19 immunization in the third week of December, 2020. (INE)

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