Self-isolation for COVID-19 patients shortened to 7 days: Health Ministry

Photo: Indonesian Health Ministry
Photo: Indonesian Health Ministry

Indonesia’s Ministry of Health said that COVID-19 patients can now undergo self-isolation for just seven days as infections involving the Omicron variant — the most dominant in Indonesia in its current outbreak — are relatively shorter than previous variants.

“If the PCR test [taken] on the sixth day shows a negative result, then the PeduliLindungi app will indicate [the patient] as ‘green’ and on the seventh day, they can finish their self-isolation,“ Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the ministry’s COVID-19 spokeswoman, said yesterday.

Alternatively, the new rules state that patients who do not take the exit PCR test on the fifth day of self-isolation will still be categorized green on PeduliLindungi app on the 10th day, as they are assumed to have beaten the infection by that time.

The previous provision required that exit tests must be done twice on the sixth and seventh day after first testing positive. Should the patient test negative for both tests, then they can use their PeduliLindungi app to resume activities in public.

The new policy has been implemented following public complaints that many patients were still color-coded black in PeduliLindungi — which signifies existing COVID-19 infection or recent close contact with an infected — despite having tested negative. Those who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, have had no history of close contact with COVID-19 patients, or have tested negative for the viral disease are color-coded green in the app and are allowed to conduct activities in public.

Only PCR swab tests are valid as exit tests for COVID-19 patients.

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