Dumai: The Dumai Seaport's Health Office has installed a thermal scanner at the seaport's entrance gate to check arriving passengers’ temperatures, in a bid to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus.
Passengers with elevated body temperatures, particularly those who have arrived from overseas, would be sent to a medical check-up room by health workers, Head of Dumai Seaport Efrizon told journalists here on Monday.
"We have set up a special medical check-up room, along with health workers," he said, adding that the thermal scanner was installed to respond to the Indonesian Health Ministry's letter dated May 13, 2019, which asked agencies to take precautionary measures.
Located in Riau Province, Dumai Seaport is the destination for a ferry serving Dumai and the Malaysian city of Malacca. From Malacca, passengers often travel to Singapore by bus.
Singapore, a city-state which is located next to the Indonesian island of Batam, has witnessed a case of monkeypox in the past two weeks. This rare virus infected a 38-year-old Nigerian who arrived in the city on April 28, 2019.
Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported this first case of monkeypox to the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 9.
As reported on the WHO's website, the Nigerian man visited Singapore to attend a workshop, held from April 29-30, but before flying to Singapore he joined a wedding party in a village in Nigeria's Ebonyi State on April 21.
At the party, the Nigerian man was reported by Channel News Asia (CNA) to have consumed "bush meat". On his third day in Singapore, he suffered from "fever, muscle aches, chills, and a skin rash", believed to be the symptoms of the rare monkeypox virus.
The Nigerian national, whose name has not been released, reportedly stayed in his hotel room during his week-long illness. On May 7, he was rushed to Singapore's National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
The WHO further noted that the patient was confirmed to be suffering from monkeypox by Singapore's National Public Health Laboratory on May 8.
According to the WHO, monkeypox is a rare virus spread to humans from animals and is found chiefly in the remote areas of central and west Africa, often near tropical rainforests.
Due to the dangers presented by the monkeypox virus, which is potentially fatal, Indonesian health authorities throughout the archipelago have stepped up their prevention and detection activities. (Antara)