Indonesia finds cases of Indian COVID-19 variant as officials warn on Eid travel

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Indonesia has recorded its first cases of a highly infectious COVID-19 variant first detected in India, the health minister said on Monday (May 3), as authorities implored people not to travel to their hometowns for the end of the Muslim fasting month.

Indonesia, which has been trying to contain one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, stopped issuing visas last month for foreigners who had been in India in the previous 14 days.

The two cases of the Indian variant, known as B1617, were found in Jakarta, while the minister said a variant first discovered in South Africa was also detected in Bali.

“We need to contain these cases, while there are still only a few of them,” Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a virtual conference

Scientists are studying whether the B1617 variant is to blame for India’s devastating second wave of infections.

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