Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – More than 1,000 Indonesian citizens returning from foreign countries have tested positive for coronavirus since late December although they produced negative Covid-19 test prior to the home flight, an official said on Sunday.
According to the National Covid-19 Task Force, 1,092 Indonesian citizens and 122 foreigners have tested positive for the virus upon arrival at Indonesian airports.
"Our data from December 28, 2020 show that 1,214 people arriving from other countries have tested positive for Covid, including 1,092 Indonesian citizens and 122 foreigners," task force head Doni Monardo said in a video conference.
They have arrived from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he said.
"All those people were carrying negative Covid test results when they arrived here," Doni said.
"We have a lingering question whether they were exposed to the virus before or during the flight," Doni said.
The country has recorded a total of 1.27 million cases since the outbreak began.
It has been averaging 9,652 cases in the last 20 days as the growth rate in newly cases is declining after the peak in January, Health Ministry figures show.
West Java has outpaced Jakarta in the past two weeks, during which daily numbers were highly fluctuating.
After a dramatic fall last week, the seven-day average in West Java began to rise drastically, with daily total topping 4,000 in three of the last six days.
West Java has been averaging 2,747 cases in the past week, in contrast to Jakarta's 1,835.
However, Jakarta remains at the top of the table with 325,903 cases overall, followed by West Java with 193,348.
Central Java has added 21,620 cases since the beginning of the month for a total of 146,975.
East Java is ranked fourth among worst-affected provinces with a total of 125,592 cases.
The country's four most populous provinces make up 62 percent of the total number of cases nationwide.
East Kalimantan has added more cases than any other provinces outside of the four giants in Java so far this month.
It has recorded 10,884 cases since Feb. 1, bringing the total number of cases to 52,096.
Other hotspots like Bali, North Sumatra and South Kalimantan also reported a higher rate of new infections compared to January.
The virus has killed 4,318 people in the 20-day period, bringing the total death toll to 34,316 countrywide.
East Java has the most coronavirus-related deaths, totaling 8,834.
Central Java comes next with a total of 6,131 Covid deaths, followed by Jakarta (5,135), West Java (2,174) and East Kalimantan (1,224).