No Indian nationals had entered North Sumatra: top police officer

No Indian nationals had entered North Sumatra: top police officer

North Sumatra Police Chief Insp. Gen. R. Z. Panca Putra Simanjuntak and Commander of the I/Bukit Barisan Regional Military Command Maj. Gen. Hasanuddin paid an impromptu visit to the Kualanamu International Aiport on May 5, 2021. (ANTARA/HO)

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - A top police officer confirmed that no Indian nationals had entered North Sumatra Province through the Kualanamu International Airport in Deli Serdang District, as India is observing a major spike in COVID-19 cases.

North Sumatra Police Chief Insp. Gen. R. Z. Panca Putra Simanjuntak made the statement after paying an impromptu visit to the airport located on the outskirts of Medan City on Wednesday (May 5, 2021).

On that day, some 150 passengers aboard Malindo Air that departed from Malaysia arrived at the Kualanamu International Airport.

Along with his counterpart, Commander of the I/Bukit Barisan Regional Military Command Maj. Gen. Hasanuddin, Simanjuntak checked the passengers that had recently arrived. All of them are Indonesian citizens.

"The passengers are seen implementing health protocols," he remarked, adding that they were obliged to present their COVID-19-free health certificates and to get quarantined.

Medan has a "Little India" area known as Kampung Madras. In this small pocket of land in this capital of North Sumatra Province, local residents and visitors can find Hindu temples as well as Indian shops and restaurants.

In the wake of the massive surge in COVID-19 cases in India, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged regional leaders to exercise caution over the potential increase in COVID-19 transmission.

"I remember in January, India had reduced the case count to 10 thousand per day. However, as we know lately, there is an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in India, reaching 350 thousand active cases per day. This elicits caution for us," Jokowi stated during a recent virtual briefing for regional leaders from the State Palace.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for COVID-19 of the Health Ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi conveyed that 59 travelers from India in Indonesia had tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"During the period from December 28, 2020, to April 25, 2021, we received 59 positive cases of travelers from India," Tarmizi noted in a virtual statement to reporters on Thursday.

Of the 59 positive cases, 49 were foreign nationals from India and 10 were Indonesian citizens.

The spokesperson revealed that 26 positive cases were among those detected in travelers from India on April 10-25, 2021.

"Of the 26 cases, 24 were Indian citizens and two were Indonesian citizens," she confirmed.

According to the spokesperson, specimens were taken for 26 positive cases to be examined for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) or genome sequencing to look for a potential mutation or new variant of SARS-Cov-2 that causes COVID-19, such as B117, B1617, and B1351.

"Examination of specimens is conducted by sampling for the arrival of those during the period from December 28 to April 10, 2021. We are still awaiting specimens from the 26 positive ones and specimens that were sampled during the previous period," she stated. Related news: Four Indian crew members test COVID-19 positive in Dumai, Riau
Related news: Health Ministry studies potential virus mutation from Indian arrivals
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