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COVID-19 on the rise in Indonesia; thermal scanners installed at airport

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Indonesia is deploying thermal body scanners at key international entry points, including Jakarta’s main airport and Batam’s ferry terminal, as part of efforts to screen travellers for Covid-19 amid a surge in infections across the region.

The precautionary step follows a circular issued by the country’s Health Ministry on December 8, urging heightened vigilance in light of increased cases in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. A statement from the Indonesia Health Ministry on December 11 reiterated the message, advising Indonesians to delay travel to areas experiencing a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The statement also emphasised the importance of completing two-dose vaccinations, wearing masks, practising proper hygiene, and staying home if unwell.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi highlighted the risk of infection for Indonesians traveling abroad due to interactions with individuals from other countries. She stressed the need for sufficient immunity to prevent infections and the potential spread of the virus during travel and upon return.

At Terminal 2 of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the installation of two thermal body scanners near the immigration checkpoint to remotely measure the temperatures of arriving passengers, including both foreigners and locals was seen. No other health checks were made.