2 Indonesian COVID-19 patients test negative for coronavirus: Health Ministry

Two of the 19 COVID-19 patients in Indonesia have tested negative soon after they were diagnosed with the disease, a Health Ministry official said today.

Cases 6 and 14 underwent new tests and saw their results come back negative for the novel coronavirus.

“From the 19 cases who tested positive, we’ve got happy news. The sixth case, who has entered the fifth day [of quarantine], the test result is already negative,” said Achmad Yurianto, a secretary at the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Directorate General who was recently appointed spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters in Indonesia, as quoted by Media Indonesia.

The sixth case is a crew member of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama for two weeks in February. The other patient to test negative was Case 14, a 50-year-old man who was infected abroad.

Achmad said both of them are still in isolation at Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in North Jakarta and are scheduled for their second test in two days. Should their results remain negative then, they will be discharged and continue at-home treatment while being monitored by their respective local health agencies.

Indonesia announced 13 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday evening, bringing the official total number of people infected in the country to 19.

Achmad said seven of the patients were likely infected by the coronavirus abroad before returning home recently. Two of the patients are foreign nationals, though their nationalities were not disclosed.

Two of the new cases, identified as Case 7 and Case 8, are a married couple in their 50s.

Case 10, 11, 12 and 13 likely contracted the virus from coming into contact with Indonesia’s first confirmed case, a 31-year-old dance instructor who tested positive after coming into contact with a Japanese woman who visited Jakarta in early February and later testing positive in Malaysia.

Achmad said some of the patients are currently treated in Jakarta while others are treated outside the capital, without giving specific details. The patients’ privacy seems to be under greater protection amid reports that the country’s first two confirmed cases came under a lot of stress after their personal details leaked to the public.

Yesterday’s announcement represented the biggest one-day spike of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

Related — Indonesia says community clinics capable of early COVID-19 detection

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