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Indonesia military academy hit by virus outbreak 

Nearly 1,300 people at a military academy in Indonesia have tested positive for the coronavirus, an official said, as the country struggles to contain the epidemic.

This picture taken on July 9, 2020 shows the closed main gate of the Indonesian army's Officer Candidate School in Bandung, after more than 1,200 personnel including instructors of the institution were tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Timur Matahari / AFP
The Indonesian Army Officer Candidate School in the country's most populated province of West Java has been quarantined and 30 people were initially hospitalised with mild symptoms, the army's chief of staff, General Andika Perkasa, said late Saturday.   

Of the 1,280 confirmed infections, 991 were cadets and the rest were staff and their family members, he said. Most had no symptoms.

Seventeen were still in hospital on Saturday.

The outbreak was first detected when two cadets went to a medical facility after complaining of fever and back pain. 

Both tested positive for COVID-19, sparking mass swab testing at the academy, which has 2,000 staff and cadets.

It is not clear how the cadets were infected, Perkasa said, but some staff live outside the military complex.

The governor of West Java apologised for the outbreak and urged residents to restrict their movements in and out of the neighbourhood where the academy is located until it is brought under control.  

Indonesia is the hardest hit country in Southeast Asia with more than 74,000 known cases of COVID-19 and over 3,500 deaths. 

The real toll is widely believed to be much higher, however, with experts saying limited testing was understating the true scale of the crisis.

The World Health Organization recently urged Indonesia to do more testing. 

Topics: COVID-19 , Indonesian Army Officer Candidate School , Andika Perkasa , Southeast Asia
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