In this file photo dated Feb 16, 2022, officials walk near a banner for the G20 finance ministers and central governors meeting during preparations in Jakarta.
(MAST IRHAM / POOL / AFP)
HANOI / JAKARTA / SINGAPORE – Indonesia is beefing up COVID-19 pandemic control and tightening security against terrorists on the island of Bali in preparation for the Group of 20 summit slated for November.
The number of newly-confirmed COVID-19 infections keeps rising in the Southeast Asian country, largely due to the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
On Friday, health authorities confirmed 2,804 new cases across the country with 12 related deaths in Indonesia
On Friday, health authorities confirmed 2,804 new cases across the country with 12 related deaths. Bali reported 36 new cases.
The country's health ministry has been improving its COVID-19 contact tracing application PeduliLindungi, which is generally used to gain access to public sites, such as airports, hospitals and supermarkets.
Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono has told media that the ministry was in the process of adding 14 foreign languages to the app to meet the needs of delegates participating in the upcoming international event. All delegates, he said, have to be fully vaccinated and registered on PeduliLindungi prior to their departures.
"Delegates are expected to have their health insurances or travel insurances that guarantee healthcare in hospitals, including COVID-19 treatment," Harbuwono said.
He also said that the ministry had arranged COVID-19 preventative measures and will provide access for delegates to health services. At the airport in Bali, authorities will check the delegates' COVID-19 vaccine verification and conduct screening for the virus. Those with body temperatures of over 37.5 degrees centigrade will have to perform a polymerase chain reaction test. Delegates who pass the screening will be given rapid antigen tests.
In the area of the conference, makeshift ICUs, clinics and mobile response teams will be made available with doctors, nurses and ambulances standing by.
Meanwhile, Indonesia has been continuing to accelerate its national vaccination program, as more than 200 million people across the country have received their first dose of vaccines, while over 170 million have taken the second dose.
Singapore reported 2,218 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total tally to 1,856,673.
Of the new cases, 234 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 1,984 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the ministry of health.
Among the PCR cases, 205 were local transmissions and 29 were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 1,777 local transmissions and 207 imported cases.
A total of 239 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with nine cases in intensive care units.
One death was reported from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 1,602, the ministry said.
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Vietnam recorded 3,649 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up 458 from Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health.
All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the ministry.
The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,435,472. The country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Friday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,126.
As of Friday, there were 138 severe cases in need of assisted breathing in the Southeast Asian country, according to the ministry.
More than 258.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, including over 219.6 million shots on people aged 18 and above, said the ministry.
Vietnam has already recorded COVID-19 infections with Omicron BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.74 sub-variants and is accelerating the inoculation of its people with a fourth vaccine dose.