The quarantine period for people who want to enter Indonesia was, again,n extended to 14 days. This regulation is valid for those who came from 11 countries with cases of the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant. Apart from these 11 countries, the quarantine period is set for 7 days from previously 5 days.
Exceptions apply to some criteria. These include diplomatic visa holders, ministerial equivalents, and entourage on state visits.
The eleven countries in question are:
- South Africa
- Hong Kong.
Quarantine rules guide
The complete rules regarding quarantine when entering Indonesian territory are as follows, as stated in Circular Letter (SE) Number 23 of 2021 concerning International Travel Health Protocols during the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic Period.
- Foreigners from 11 Countries
Foreign Citizens (WNA) who have lived and visited 11 certain countries within a period of 14 days are prohibited from entering Indonesia.
Visas for citizens of these 11 countries are also temporarily suspended according to the Circular of the Director General of Immigration, Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
- Indonesian Citizens from 11 Countries
Indonesian citizens or Indonesian citizens who have lived and visited these 11 countries may enter Indonesia, but are required to quarantine for 14 days. Then, they are also required to do a 3X24 hour PCR test before returning to Indonesia, then the 1st PCR test when they arrive in the country.
Then the 2nd and 13th PCR tests were continued during quarantine. Finally, the PCR sample must be carried out using the Whole Genome Sequencing or WGS method.
- Indonesian citizens and foreigners from outside 11 countries
Indonesian citizens and foreigners who come from outside the 11 countries mentioned, are allowed to enter Indonesia with a quarantine period from 3 days to 7 days. Then they are required to do a PCR test 3×24 hours before coming to Indonesia.
Then, the 1st PCR test when you arrive in the country. Quarantine 2nd and 6th PCR tests. Finally, do a PCR sample by using the WGS (Whole Genome Sequencing) method.
- Special Foreigners
This rule applies to foreign nationals (WNA) who have entered into a Travel Corridor Agreement (TCA) with Indonesia. These countries are China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
Then the holders of diplomatic and service visas, ministerial-level visits and above and their entourage, and delegates from G20 countries.
Getting to know Omicron
A number of countries have closed their borders to stem the spread of Omicron, a new variant of Covid-19 identified in South Africa. Another name for this variant is B.1.1.529, only discovered last week in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts a global spread of Omicron, but the organization recommends keeping borders open. South African authorities have criticized a number of countries for closing their borders as “unnecessary”.
Meanwhile, a study from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador also concluded that the ban on entry and exit of air travel was effective. “Without proper controls, the influx of infected travelers could easily become the seeds of a new exponential outbreak.”
A new variant of the Omicron was discovered in South Africa’s most populous province, Gauteng, over the past two weeks. According to the WHO, the number of cases appears to be increasing in almost all South African provinces. On Sunday, according to the BBC, South Africa reported 2,800 new infections, up from an average of 500 daily cases in the previous week.
Government adviser and epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim predict the number of cases will reach more than 10,000 thousand per day by the weekend and hospitals will be overwhelmed in the next two to three weeks.
Scientists predict that up to 90 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Gauteng could be linked to Omicron. In fact, scientists predict that Omicron has spread in eight other provinces in South Africa.
Not only in South Africa, on Friday (11/26), Belgium also confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in Europe. According to Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst, the samples came from travelers from Egypt returning to Belgium. The person only showed symptoms on November 22.
The researchers said the number of mutations in this virus was very high and they found 32 mutations in the spike protein. In fact, the delta variant, which is considered highly contagious, only shows eight mutations.
However, the number of mutations in the protein is not a proper indication of how dangerous the new variant is. Because, it just shows that the human immune system will be more difficult to fight the new variant.
A molecular biologist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna named Dr Ulrich Elling estimates the new variant “maybe 500 percent more infectious than delta.”