Fears of new COVID-19 cluster at North Sumatra University as rector tests positive

first_imgThe rector of the North Sumatra University (USU) in Medan, Runtung Sitepu, along with deputy rector Rosmayati and the university’s board of trustees member Darma Bakti have tested positive for COVID-19, local authorities confirmed on Sunday. “There are three USU executives who tested positive for COVID-19. To contain the spread of the virus, we urge all those who have been in close contact with them within the last 14 days to take a swab test at the USU hospital or other swab test centers located in North Sumatra,” USU hospital director Syah Mirsya Wali said on Sunday.The three confirmed cases in USU have raised concerns of a new COVID-19 cluster in the region as the campus remains open, with computer-based exams (UTBK) as part of the annual state university entrance test (SBMPTN) set to continue until the end of the month with as many as 35,794 participants. USU spokesperson Elvi Sumanti said the matter was “still being coordinated with the executive board,” adding that all campus activities would continue normally.“The rector tested positive, without showing any symptoms, based on the independent swab test that he took,” she told The Jakarta Post. Runtung himself confirmed his health status to the press via phone on Sunday. “I am fine and I don’t feel like I am sick,” he said.He also urged anyone who had been in close contact with him to take a COVID-19 swab test immediately. “I don’t want to cover it [positive COVID-19 result] up, that is why I am asking this matter to be published.”Meanwhile, North Sumatra COVID-19 task force spokesperson Aris Yudhariansyah called on USU to do comprehensive tracing and implement strict health protocols to curb the spread of the virus in one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in the region. According to the official government count, North Sumatra has 2,323 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 123 deaths as of Sunday.(trn)Topics :last_img