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Why Indonesia has no reported cases of coronavirus

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Why Indonesia has no reported cases of coronavirus

As the rate of new coronavirus infections outside China overtakes the number of new cases within China, fears of a global pandemic are escalating, but one high-risk country is yet to report a single case.

In Asia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia have reported cases.

Australia’s travel warnings for Japan and South Korea have been elevated in response to outbreaks.

But in Indonesia, a country considered high risk by Australian authorities, there are no reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Associate Professor of Indonesian Politics at The Australian National University, Greg Fealy, says he is “skeptical” about claims the virus hasn’t made it to Indonesia’s shores.

But he doesn’t think Indonesian authorities are lying.

“The potential risk for their own population would be far too high,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“I think more likely its the case that there are coronavirus patients there and they just haven’t been detected.”

Mr Fealy said if an outbreak were to occur in Indonesia the country would be ill-equipped to deal with it.

“There are serious questions being raised about the effectiveness of the testing measures and the kinds of medical resources that Indonesia might be able to put to this if they do have an outbreak of coronavirus there,” he said.

“It’s not a really strong medical system.

“If coronavirus does get to Indonesia then managing it on Bali would be extremely difficult.

“There’s four hospitals that are accredited to deal with these kinds of epidemics but I think only one of them had the correct air conditioning system that reduces the risk of the spread of the virus to other parts of the hospital.”

Concern has been fuelled by controversial comments from Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, who claims the country has been spared from coronavirus because it is protected by God.

Travellers arriving in Australia from Indonesia are undergoing temperature screening at airports.

Press PLAY below for more.

Image: NurPhoto / Getty


Neil Mitchell