Medan on high alert after detection of probable case of Omicron – Archipelago
Apriadi Gunawan (The Jakarta Post)
Sat, January 8, 2022
The Medan administration is on high alert after detecting a probable case of the highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 Omicron, linked to a man from the UK who was part of an airline cargo crew international that transited in the city of North Sumatra.
The 60-year-old foreigner, identified as JIA, is currently in isolation at the Royal Prima Hospital in Medan.
Medan Mayor Bobby Nasution said the JIA was doing relatively well, explaining that he was an asymptomatic patient. Bobby said the virus was detected after the JIA carried out a COVID-19 test as part of requirements for airline crews to leave Kualanamu International Airport in Medan.
“He is part of an air cargo crew that flew from the UK to Belgium and from Belgium to Singapore. As his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result had expired, he had to be tested before leaving Indonesia. His test came back positive, ”Bobby said after visiting the JIA at Royal Prima Medan Hospital on Wednesday.
Bobby said the city administration is currently awaiting the full genome sequencing result from the Department of Health’s Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes) to determine the COVID-19 variant that had infected the ‘foreigner.
Bobby, however, said he did not rule out the possibility that JIA could be infected with Omicron, given the patient had a history of travel to other countries where the contagious variant was prevalent.
The mayor urged residents of Medan to remain calm as authorities conduct contact tracing from the confirmed case. As part of the contact tracing efforts, Bobby said the Medan administration contacted Regency officials Deli Serdang, believing that the airline crew initially stayed at a regency hotel.
“Finding contacts [from the case] is limited to other airline crews. We coordinated with Deli Serdang [regency officials] to do the contact tracing there, ”Bobby said.