UNAIR NEWS – Two weeks after the Eid holidays, Covid-19 cases in Madura increased significantly. It is shown by the increasing number of Covid-19 patients at the Bangkalan Regional General Hospital (RSUD) so they must be referred to hospitals in Surabaya. Furthermore,there were 70 people confirmed with Covid-19 after a mass swab test held at The Suramadu Bridge on Sunday, June 6, 2021.
In this regard, the Head of Universitas Airlangga’s Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD) Prof. dr. Maria Lucia Inge Lusida, Sp.MK., M.Kes., PhD., said a new variant was found from the test sample at ITD. The two new variants are B1.1.7 and B1.351. She made the statement on Monday, June 7, 2021.
UNAIR epidemiologist Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr. M.Kes. also responded that experts had warned long before the Eid holidays. He said that since January 2021, it had been conveyed that there is a possibility that the new variants will enter Indonesia.
“So what was found by ITD only confirmed the warning that had been given,” he explained on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Ato revealed that the new variants, which are much more contagious, could be influenced by mobility, especially between the Bangkalan and Surabaya areas. With higher mobility, there is a higher risk of transmission in both areas. The emergence of a new variant is allegedly brought by Indonesian migrant workers from overseas who are going home for the Eid holidays.
Therefore, he continued, testing is a basic step to find out and track people who are confirmed positive with Covid-19. After testing, restrictions can be made according to the results of the testing.
“The important thing is doing the tests first, if they are confirmed positive, they must be isolated, and tracing must be performed in their areas. So the area around their residences is isolated. Then, from the tests, if the confirmed cases were found evenly in various regions on the island of Madura, it could lead to the island quarantine,” he said.
In Ato’s opinion, the mass tests carried out at Suramadu Bridge is only a small picture of the Covid-19 spike and an effort to minimize the spread in Surabaya. This activity, he said, must also be implemented for mobility within the city to detect and show transmission in Madura.
Moreover, there should be awareness from the people of Surabaya who have traveled for Eid holidays or been to Madura to report to the community healthcare center (puskesmas) if they have health complaints. “Most importantly, for the Madura region, if there are positive cases, tracing must be carried out within this week, who have they made contact with, including their relatives’ mobility in Surabaya,” said Ato.
After that, continued Ato, Madurese residents in Surabaya can be traced further. “If you want to be efficient and effective, testing in Madura is good, and if they’re found positive, proceed with good tracing. For example, in the past week, has there been a history of contacts with those from outside Madura, including those from Surabaya,” he concluded. (*)
Author: Asthesia Dhea Cantika
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh