The two mutant strains have spread through Indonesian migrant workers, a spokesperson for the ministry's COVID-19 handling program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, informed here on Monday.
"The new mutant viruses were carried by Indonesian migrant workers who returned home," Tarmizi stated.
The UK variant, also known as B117, remains the dominant strain in Britain, with more than 200 thousand cases identified so far, she informed. The mutant strain has spread to more than 50 countries and appears to be mutating again, she added.
The South African variant, or B1351, has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK, she said.
The presence of the mutant variants was detected in Indonesia after a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was conducted on two migrant workers quarantined at a government facility, Tarmizi disclosed.
The two migrant workers are in good condition and are still under quarantine, she added.
So far, 14 cases of the B117 variant and two cases of the B1351 variant have been detected in the country.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the two new cases involving the mutant variants were detected in East Java.
"Both are Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia," he added.
The minister then called on regional leaders to intensify COVID-19 testing to detect the spread of the new variants and urged the public to adhere to the health protocols to prevent the spread of infections. (INE)
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