11 February 2020
The Straights Times reports lack of identified corona virus in Indonesia a cause for concern
"Infected people who are asymptomatic and don't get sick do not see a doctor. Those who develop flu but are scared of being quarantined or receiving special treatment may also not see a doctor," said Professor Gusti Ngurah Mahardika, head of the Animal Biomedical and Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Udayana University in Bali.
The Straights Times reported on 9 February 2020 that the lack of any identified corona virus infections in Indonesia does not mean that corona virus has not reached Indonesia.
The report cites Indonesian healthcare practitioners stating that they do not rule out the possibility the virus may have already entered the vast archipelago and is lurking among the 260-million population, but remains undetected and unreported. As of Friday, Indonesia's Health Ministry has put the number of suspect cases at 50, of which 49 have tested negative and the remaining one is pending results.
The full report may be read here, only in English unfortunately.
What does this mean for Timor-Leste? Australia and Singapore, and other countries, have closed their borders to entry by travellers from China and isolating any persons known to have a risk of exposure.
This poses a serious problem because Timor-Leste is so intricately linked to Indonesia and it seems that if corona virus is present in Indonesia, it is only a matter of time before it manifests in Timor-Leste.
The East Timor government has prepared a plan which can be read here: Government presented to the National Parliament the contingency plan to prevent the coronavirus outbreak
Corona virus: reiteration of WHO advice to reduce exposure and transmission
Image credit: https://www.tribunnews.com/kesehatan/2020/02/08/dugaan-kasus-novel-corona-virus-di-indonesia-terus-bertambah-tapi-hasilnya-negatif