Mecca, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA) - Some 22 Hajj pilgrims, who returned to Indonesia, have, so far, confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 with mild symptoms, Head of the Hajj Health Center of the Health Ministry Budi Sylvana stated here, Friday.

Of the 22 pilgrims, 19 were from the Surabaya debarkation point, two from the Padang debarkation point, and one from the Solo debarkation point, he explained.

According to Sylvana, the infected pilgrims are currently undergoing isolation at home, as they are experiencing mild symptoms or no symptoms.

All Hajj pilgrims returning to Indonesia are required to undergo a COVID-19 antigen test, and if the result is reactive, the test will be followed up with a PCR test.

If the PCR test results are negative, they can directly go home. However, if the result is positive and they experience mild symptoms, then the pilgrims will be urged to conduct self-isolation at home.

After arriving home, the infected pilgrims, who experience mild symptoms, are urged to independently monitor their own health for 21 days, and the local health office will also monitor them.

Meanwhile, those who experience severe symptoms will be referred to the nearest hospital, Sylvana remarked.

Director General of Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Hilman Latief reminded the pilgrims to not panic and maintain their safety well.

"Currently, there is a policy implemented in Indonesia related to the government's precautionary (measures) for the pilgrims," he remarked.

After two years of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, Saudi Arabia allowed one million international pilgrims to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Indonesia was allotted a quota of 100,051 for the pilgrimage.

Earlier, Budi Sylvana stated that the Indonesian Government necessitated every returning Hajj pilgrim to undergo health screening at every debarkation point to prevent the transmission of imported COVID-19 cases.

The policy was listed in an announcement letter from the directorate general of disease prevention and control at the Health Ministry Number SR.03.4/C/3519/2022 about the changes in the stipulation of the monitoring policy, which took effect as of July 15, 2022.

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Translator: Desi Purnamawati, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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