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Jakarta Post

Social media users laud Batik Air for evacuating Indonesians from virus-hit Wuhan

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 3, 2020   /   06:32 pm
Social media users laud Batik Air for evacuating Indonesians from virus-hit Wuhan A view of the Batik Air Airbus A330, the aircraft that evacuated Indonesian citizens out of Wuhan, Hubei province, China, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Following the successful repatriation of over 200 Indonesian nationals from coronavirus-hit Wuhan, Hubei province, and other regions in China via a Batik Air flight that used the Airbus A-330, social media users have taken to Twitter to convey their appreciation for the Lion Air subsidiary.

“Thanks to patriotic Indonesian diplomats, Batik Air cabin crew, and the Indonesian evacuation team who braved risks of coronavirus and volunteered for mercy flight to bring back Indonesian students from Wuhan, China. We’re proud of you!” Twitter user @GandhiPP wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

Twitter user @alichaniag0 tweeted, “Just be safe and strong, pilot and crew of Batik Air. Thanks for bring [sic] our friends back from Wuhan – not all heroes have superpowers.”

“The [crew members] are fantastic, they are wholehearted people. They [underwent] the mission to evacuate Indonesians in Wuhan even though they had to risk their own lives. Can we give them [more respect]? Batik Air is amazing,” @jessicoconut_ tweeted.

Indonesians evacuated from Wuhan and other cities in China arrived at Hang Nadim International 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.

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

Batik Air spokesperson Danang Mandala Prihantoro said in a written statement that the airline had prioritized the security and safety of its passengers during the humanitarian mission, in accordance with its standard operating procedures. The flight carried 19 crew members and 270 Indonesian passengers, he said.

The safety measures taken by the airline during the mission included providing the passengers with multi-use disinfectant sprays, masks, gloves and other means of protection to prevent the coronavirus from spreading on board, Danang said.

He went on to say that the airline extended its gratitude to the crew members of the flight, as well as to other parties that had helped to ensure that the evacuation went according to plan. The crew members would subsequently undergo a medical protocol, including quarantine, to ensure that they were virus-free, Danang added.

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