The Government continues to increase awareness of the potential spike in COVID-19 cases following the identification of a new variant of Corona virus known as “Mu” or “B.1.621”
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has asked his Ministers to stay alert on this new variant.
Following up on the President’s directive, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi emphasized that his Ministry immediately prepared steps to prevent the Mu variant from entering Indonesia.
Budi has coordinated with related parties, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Port Health Office (KKP) of Ministry of Health, the COVID-19 Task Force, the Directorate General of Immigration, and other parties.
“In accordance with the direction of the President to prevent the entry of new variants of COVID-19 to Indonesia, we immediately prepared steps to anticipate it,” said Budi on Tuesday (7/9).
He went on to say that to prevent the entry of the new variant, one of the measures is by closely monitoring places with international routes, namely at international airports and international ports.
“We will immediately hold a meeting to talk with related parties, such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the KKP, the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, and the Directorate General of Immigration to determine the necessary control measures in order to prevent the entry of new variants of COVID-19,” he said.
The Ministry of Transportation will also coordinate with the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) to carry out surveillance, ask for opinion from epidemiologists, as well as seek information from other countries.
In addition, he is also coordinating with operators of transportation facilities and infrastructure to consistently implement health protocols and increase awareness of the new variant of COVID-19.
In the meantime, Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono said that Mu variant has not been detected in Indonesia.
“We have carried out genome sequencing of 7,000 people throughout Indonesia and the Mu variant has not been detected yet. Hopefully this variant will be abortive like the previous Lambda variant some time ago in Peru,” said Dante on Monday (6/9).
He also reminded the public to remain disciplined in implementing health protocols as a number of countries experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases even though the vaccination coverage had been above 50 percent.
“This is because the people are not following health protocols since they have been vaccinated. In fact, vaccination is not the only game changer. It is important, but still we need to follow health protocols,” said Dante. (TGH / PR of Ministry of Transportation/UN) (EST/MMB)