Indonesian authorities are scrambling to verify information, published by Chinese authorities, that a man from Wuhan who visited Bali last month tested positive for the deadly novel coronavirus upon his return to China.
According to a report by the Anhui provincial government, published on Weibo, a man identified as Jin flew from Wuhan to Denpasar on Jan. 22 on Lion Air flight JT-2618 and left the island for Shanghai on Jan. 28 on Garuda Indonesia flight GA-858.
The Huainan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Anhui reported that Jin tested positive for the virus that causes the deadly disease — now named COVID-19 — on Feb. 5. Exactly where and when he contracted the disease has not been established, but Chinese authorities are urging passengers on Jin’s flights to take preventative measures against the disease immediately.
Indonesia’s Health Ministry says it is working to verify the report and has scheduled a press conference at 2pm in Jakarta regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Lion Air dismissed the possibility that Jin was already infected on the flight from Wuhan to Denpasar.
“An examination [of the flight’s crew and passengers] by a medical team at I Ngurah Rai International Airport showed that there was no indication of infection of the virus,” Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro wrote in an official statement yesterday.
However, the airline did not account for the possibility that the virus may have been going through an incubation period, which, experts say, ranges up to 24 days.
Garuda Indonesia has yet to issue a statement at the time of writing.
While its neighbors are grappling with the disease, Indonesia has yet to confirm a single COVID-19 case in the country.
We’ll have more on this developing story as more information becomes available.