In response to an uptick in cases of undefined pneumonia affecting children in Northern China, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has called for heightened alertness across its units. The concern is based on the report from the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, the MoH is advocating for increased scrutiny at entry points for foreign nationals, such as ports and airports, due to the elevated incidence of pneumonia in China.
This advisory is outlined in Circular Number: PM.03.01/C/4632/2023 on Alertness to the Incidence of Mycoplasma Pneumonia in Indonesia, signed by Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the Director General of Disease Prevention and Control.
Maxi Rein Rondonuwu emphasized, “Requesting the Port Health Office to enhance supervision of individuals (crew, personnel, and passengers), transport equipment, baggage, the environment, vectors.” This includes careful monitoring of animals that may carry diseases arriving at ports, airports, and border crossings, particularly those from countries with reported infections.
The MoH, through the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control, has issued Circular Number: PM.03.01/C/4632/2023 on Alertness to the Incidence of Mycoplasma Pneumonia in Indonesia.
This circular, dated November 27, 2023, is directed to all Heads of Provincial Health Offices, Heads of District/City Health Offices, Directors/Heads of Hospitals, Heads of Port Health Offices, and Heads of Community Health Centers throughout Indonesia.
Maxi Rein Rondonuwu stated, “The issuance of this circular aims to anticipate the spread of pneumonia in Indonesia.”
In the circular, Maxi urged the Port Health Office (KKP) to monitor global case developments and countries with reported infections. The directive emphasizes early awareness by keeping a close watch on suspected pneumonia cases.
Furthermore, Maxi urged KKP to intensify supervision at entry points, encompassing individuals (crew, personnel, and passengers), transport equipment, baggage, the environment, vectors, and animals potentially carrying diseases. This includes a focus on arrivals from countries with reported infections.
The circular also calls on KKP and health service facilities (fasyankes) in various regions to conduct thorough surveillance, closely monitoring any rise in cases within their respective areas.
Maxi Rein Rondonuwu acknowledged that the precise cause of the respiratory system disease is yet unknown. However, epidemiological reports indicate a 40 percent increase in cases of mycoplasma pneumoniae. Mycoplasma, a common cause of respiratory infections predating COVID-19, has seen a surge in outpatient and inpatient cases in children since May 2023.
Moreover, in October 2023, there was a temporary increase in incidence rates due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, and influenza, although these rates have subsequently decreased. Maxi urged continued vigilance and the maintenance of good health practices within the community.