Nusantara (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has stated that its team did not find any malaria cases in the planned capital city of Nusantara (IKN) in North Penajam Paser District, East Kalimantan.

"The findings by the Health Ministry showed that in the Nusantara City area, particularly the core government area, there is no malaria found," said Helen Dewi Prameswari, an official at the ministry's Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control, in a statement released on Monday.

She stressed that the malaria cases in North Penajam Paser District (PPU) came from other areas near the district border that referred malaria patients to PPU.

Prameswari explained that Nusantara City spans 256,142 hectares and is situated between two districts. It intersects six sub-districts, including Sepaku in PPU District and Samboja in Kutai Kartanegara District.

The closest malaria-endemic area to Nusantara City is in Sotek Village in the same district, which is 40 kilometers away from the Point Zero of the newly appointed state capital, she noted.

Moreover, Prameswari pointed out that Anopheles mosquitoes, which cause malaria, can only fly as far as one or two kilometers.

On a separate occasion, the malaria eradication program manager at PPU's health office, Ponco Waluyo, stated that malaria cases in the area, known presently as Nusantara City, were last found in November 2018.

"At that time, we found local cases in that area, but until now, we have not found such cases anymore," he remarked.

Waluyo, who has handled malaria cases since 1992, stated that the malaria cases found in the area were actually imported from other areas.

"It's malaria cases from outside, in which positive cases (of malaria) had been found infecting some riverside workers that plant tree seeds along the path in Nusantara City," he explained.

He said his team had conducted a survey among workers at risk of catching the disease.

They also took some samples of construction workers, but so far, none had contracted the disease yet. Therefore, he concluded that they were safe.

Related news: Govt expedites malaria eradication in Papua through national movement
Related news: Health Ministry identifies five regional zones for malaria elimination

Translator: M Ghofar, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023