3 tourists tested for coronavirus infection in Bali hospital

Sanglah General Hospital is the largest hospital in Bali. Photo: Sanglah General Hospital
Sanglah General Hospital is the largest hospital in Bali. Photo: Sanglah General Hospital

UPDATE Jan. 28: I Ketut Suarjaya, chief of the Health Agency in Bali, said lab results for the other two tourists suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus last week came out as negative. There are no coronavirus cases detected in Indonesia so far.

Original story follows.

Three foreign tourists have been tested at the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar since Wednesday, as they are suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus from China. One of the patients has reportedly been cleared so far while the hospital awaits results for the remaining two patients. 

“One of the tourists is from Mexico and he’d traveled to China. This patient had flu-like symptoms [and] came to the hospital on his own volition, but the lab results were negative. He’s been permitted to return home,” Sudartana, a director at Sanglah General Hospital, told CNBC Indonesia today.

Meanwhile, two other patients are reportedly from China and are still waiting for their lab results. Sudartana said the results are expected to come out later this afternoon. 

He also noted that Sanglah is equipped and ready to respond to possible coronavirus infection in Bali, while noting that tourists on the island should immediately access medical services should they experience worrying symptoms. 

Authorities in Bali have taken precaution by installing thermal scanners at the airport and preparing masks and antiviral medication, attempting to be one step ahead of the international outbreak of the SARS-like disease, which was first reported in Wuhan, China and linked to a now-closed seafood market there. 

The respiratory virus has so far killed at least 25 people, with more than 800 people known to be infected. Most of the victims are in China, but the virus has spread to a number of other countries, including Thailand and Singapore. 

In Jakarta, a patient suspected of being infected with the virus has been quarantined, as officials await for their lab results. 

While scientists have yet to figure out how the virus spreads exactly, human-to-human transmission of the disease has been confirmed. Symptoms of infection include fever and severe cough, as well as difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. There are currently no drugs approved for the Wuhan coronavirus.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that tests on the patients began today. They have actually undergone tests since they were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday. We apologize for any confusion caused.

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