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Jakarta Post

Chinese-owned miner in Morowali stops worker influx from China amid coronavirus outbreak

  • Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Palu, Central Sulawesi   /   Mon, January 27, 2020   /   01:21 pm
Chinese-owned miner in Morowali stops worker influx from China amid coronavirus outbreak A health quarantine warning is seen in front of a thermal scanner from the Port Health Office at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, on Jan. 22. (JP/Zul Trio Anggoro)

Nickel Miner PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMPI) in Central Sulawesi has stopped incoming foreign workers from China amid the fast-spreading coronavirus originating from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province.

“Officially since Jan. 25, PT. IMIP has stopped all Chinese foreign workers from entering Morowali,” IMIP spokesperson Dedy Kurniawan told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Dedy said the IMIP had not only rejected foreign workers from Wuhan but also from all regions of China.

In the meantime, there are more than 3,000 Chinese workers employed at IMIP. Ten to 50 workers usually come from China every day, although the data has yet to be collected thoroughly, Dedy said.

“But we are stopping [the influx] for now,” Dedy said, adding that after the news of the new coronavirus outbreak, the company had implemented strict procedures for all Chinese foreign workers, especially those from Wuhan.

“All workers must undergo medical check-ups,” Dedy said.

The company, which is 75 percent owned by China’s Shanghai Decent Investment Group and 25 percent owned by local mining firm Bintangdelapan Group, has also screened all foreign workers and set up thermal scanners in its compound as preventive measures to detect the potential spread of the virus.

Quarantine quarters have also been established at the company’s port area to vet ships coming from overseas.

The company also coordinated with the central government as well as the Morowali regency administration and Central Sulawesi province administration to anticipate the potential spread of the coronavirus.

“Internally, we remind our workers to maintain good cleanliness and healthy habits,” Dedy said, adding that IMPI was also monitoring the government's measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially at entry points to the country.

The coronavirus, which bears similarities to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), was first detected in Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019. At least 80 deaths from the virus have been reported in China as of Monday morning, AFP has reported.

The virus have also spread to other countries, including the United States, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, which have all reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus. (ami)