BREAKING: Authorities in Anhui province, China, have reported that a Chinese national who visited Bali late last month has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as Indonesian authorities scramble to verify the information on Wednesday.
The administration announced via Weibo on Feb. 6 that the Huainan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Feb. 5 that a patient, identified only as Jin, flew on Lion Air flight JT2618 from Wuhan – the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak – to Bali on Jan. 22. The patient stayed on the island for about a week before flying on Garuda Indonesia flight GA858 from Bali to Shanghai on Jan. 28.
Bali Health Agency Responds
The Bali Health Agency says it will investigate and verify the information that a Chinese tourist who traveled from Wuhan to Bali last month tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease on Feb. 5 after he arrived in Huainan city in Anhui province in China.
Bali Health Agency, Ketut Suarjaya, said the agency was currently trying to figure out the travel history and the activities of the patient, identified only as Jin, according to information obtained by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“We have to check on the dates when he was in Bali. The incubation period of the coronavirus is 14 days. We don’t know yet where exactly he was infected. We don’t know yet whether he was infected with the coronavirus before he went to Bali. There is a possibility that he got the virus when he returned to China,” Suarjaya said.
The patient was found to have been infected with the virus that causes the disease on Feb. 5 by Huainan CDC according to a Weibo post.
“For passengers on the aforementioned flights, please enact preventative measures immediately,” wrote the Anhui administration on its Weibo account, which is a local version of Twitter.
“Please don’t go out for a while and if you get a fever, go to the nearest hospital,” the statement said. “Please use masks when you travel to the medical center and don’t use public transportation,” it went on.
Garuda Indonesia spokesman Dicky Irchamsyah said he had not yet received a report about the case but “will check up on it.” Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala separately said he would also look into the case.
The Jakarta Post first obtained the information about the Anhui administration’s statement from a Chinese citizen who sent a letter to us on Wednesday. The citizen provided two links: one was the Weibo post and the other was a search page for “Epidemic situation, public transportation epidemic inquiry”.
The Jakarta Post asked two Chinese journalists from two respected media in China to check whether the links are official or not and both confirmed that the links are official.
The Chinese citizen who first informed us about the alert from the Anhui provincial authorities provided an English translation of the Weibo post and we also asked an Indonesian journalist friend who understands Chinese to translate it into Indonesian.
The Post tried to contact the Anhui and Huainan CDC offices on Wednesday to find more information about the patient but their calls were not answered. Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun told the Post he had yet to receive any information about the matter but he would find out more information.
Currently two Chinese patients are being treated in the isolation room of Sanglah Hospital in Bali. The two patients were admitted last night. Since the COVID-19 outbreak the hospital has treated 32 patients who have shown symptoms of the disease, all previous 30 tests have come back negative.
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected over 45,000 people worldwide. The vast majority of cases are in mainland China.