On Saturday, April 25, the Indonesian Health Ministry issued an official statement advising people to maintain vigilance in malaria-affected areas, as the disease has symptoms similar to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including fever, headaches, and muscle aches. The most susceptible regions include the entirety of eastern Indonesia and the Komodo Islands, as well as rural areas of Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Nusa Tenggara Barat. The World Health Organization's (WHO) most recent report estimated approximately one million cases of malaria in Indonesia in 2018, with 1785 associated fatalities. Appropriate measures are also advised to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
As of April 29, there have been 9771 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 784 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
To minimize the risk of contracting malaria, take measures to protect yourself against mosquito bites (i.e. wear insect repellents, long-sleeved shirts, and pants, etc.). Prophylactics and medications to treat the symptoms of the disease are available.
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