Indonesia bars visitors from four more nations over Omicron
Published on: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
By: Bernama
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Credit: iflr.com
JAKARTA: After imposing restrictions on travellers from eight African nations as a precaution over the new found coronavirus variant Omicron, Indonesia on Monday added another four countries  –  Angola, Hong Kong, Malawi and Zambia  –  to the list.

The government on Sunday had announced entry restrictions for travellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Eswatini to avoid imported infections of the Omicron variant, however, later Nigeria was removed from the red list.

Travellers who had returned from the above countries in the last 14 days must isolate in designated facilities, senior officials told a news briefing.

Covid-19 Task Force Coordinating Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the mandatory quarantine period for international travellers, both Indonesian citizens and foreigners had been increased to a week from three days.

“We have taken all necessary measures and actions to ensure the pandemic is under control,” he stressed.

Health Ministry spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi pointed out that until now, the new variant has not been detected in the country, adding that the ministry is monitoring closely via genome sequencing analysis.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has issued a leave ban on civil servants in a pre-emptive measure to avoid a Covid-19 flare-up during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays from Dec 24 until Jan 2 next year.

It will also impose the moderate level three public mobility restrictions, locally known as PPKM, nationwide during the period.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday appealed to countries in the South-East Asia Region to scale up surveillance, strengthen public health and social measures and enhance vaccination coverage.

In view of a surge in Covid-19 cases globally and detection of the new variant of concern Omicron, WHO regional director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said “countries must enhance surveillance and sequencing”.

“They should assess the risk of importation through international travel based on updated information on circulating variants and response capacities, and take measures accordingly,” she added.

The B.1.1.529 variant or Omicron was first reported to WHO from South Africa on Nov 24, 2021. 


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