29 April 2020
Twenty-nine out of 164 Malaysian students in East Java heading back to Malaysia were found to be positive when undergoing a Covid-19 rapid test and thus were barred from boarding a flight from Surabaya.
All students of Pondok Pesantren Al-Fatah Temboro Magetan In East Java, they were required to take the test before being allowed to board a Malaysia Airlines flight at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya that was scheduled to take off at 8.30pm on Monday (April 27).
East Java Covid-19 task force tracing team head Kohar Hari Santoso, when contacted by Bernama, said the 29 students were undergoing further testing for Covid-19 and had been placed under 14-day quarantine.
“They have to be quarantined and undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction test (a more accurate test),” he said.
Rapid testing is part of the Indonesian government’s measures for early detection of Covid-19 among the masses.
Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Doni Monardo, prior to this, had said rapid tests were not the most effective way to detect the coronavirus but more to find out if anyone has symptoms, possibly of Covid-19.
In a media briefing in Putrajaya on April 19, Malaysian Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said the Malaysian Health Ministry had detected a new Covid-19 cluster among inbound passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on April 16, 2020.
This cluster involved Malaysian students returning from Indonesia. The case involved 43 students who were returning from Temboro, in the Magetan district, which was declared a Covid-19 red zone.