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Jakarta Post

Coronavirus: Indonesians from Wuhan arrive in Batam, before taken to Natuna for quarantine

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil
    A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, February 2, 2020   /   01:09 pm
Coronavirus: Indonesians from Wuhan arrive in Batam, before taken to Natuna for quarantine Indonesian citizens board a plane in Wuhan, China, on Sunday that would take them home. (JP/Courtesy Kbri Beijing)

Indonesians evacuated from Wuhan and other cities in China arrived at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Sunday morning and were immediately directed to passenger planes operated by the Indonesian Air Force to be airlifted to Natuna Island for quarantine.

Presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said the 245 Indonesians previously trapped in the locked-down city of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province are in good health.

“All have been declared healthy according to World Health Organization standards,” Fadjroel said in a statement on Sunday.

The evacuees got off the Batik Air Airbus A-330 airplane at 9.23 a.m. local time, after landing at around 8.45 a.m. They disembarked one by one, with long intervals.

Officers wearing hazmat suits checked on the passengers and escorted them out, Antara news agency reported.

The passengers underwent medical check-ups inside the Batik Air aircraft before boarding the planes that brought them to Natuna Island.

Batam Class I Port Health Office head Achmad Farchanny previously said that several health measures would be taken on route, such as temperature checks.

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has three planes to be used to carry the returnees to Natuna, namely a Hercules A-1315, a Boeing AI 7304 and Boeing A 7306.

Hang Nadim Airport operational director Maj. Wardoyo said the Hercules airplanes could carry 130 people and each Boeing 100 people.

Fadjroel said that upon arriving, the 245 Indonesians would be observed at a military base in Natuna that is equipped with hospital facilities.

Previously, the Health Ministry’s head of the emerging infectious diseases subdirectorate, Endang Budi Hastuti, said they must be quarantined for at least 14 days, which would allow authorities to observe them throughout the virus' estimated incubation period.

AFP reported as of Sunday, the coronavirus has killed 304 in China, and infected nearly 14,500 globally. The Philippines also reported the first death on Sunday outside of China.