29 Malaysian students fail Covid-19 test in Java, unable to take their flight home

The Indonesian government has implemented rapid Covid-19 tests on passengers at airports.

JAKARTA: 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 were then barred from boarding a flight from Surabaya.

The students of Pondok Pesantren Al-Fatah Temboro Magetan in East Java were required to take the test before being allowed to board a Malaysia Airlines flight at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, scheduled to take off at 8.30pm yesterday.

East Java Covid-19 task force tracing team head Kohar Hari Santoso, when contacted, 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 will undergo a 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 had earlier said that rapid tests were not the most effective way to detect the coronavirus but more to find out if anyone has indications of Covid-19.

In a media briefing in Putrajaya on April 19, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said they had detected a new Covid-19 cluster among inbound passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on April 16.

This cluster involved Malaysian students returning from Indonesia. This cluster involved 43 students returning from Temboro, in the Magetan district, Java, which had been declared a Covid-19 red zone.

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