A flight chartered by the Chinese Consulate-General picked up 61 Chinese nationals from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday to bring them back to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The tourists, comprising 49 adults and 12 children, had been stranded in Bali since Wednesday following the Indonesian government’s decision to temporarily halt all flights to and from mainland China.
"The China Consulate General said it had picked up its residents today because they want to celebrate Cap Go Meh [15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar] in their home country,” Ngurah Rai Airport general manager Herry Sikado said on Saturday.
The flight took off from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at 2:11 p.m. local time, having arrived in Bali from Guangzhou at 12.20 p.m.
In an attempt to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading, tight procedures were implemented before and after the flight took off.
Airport management prepared an isolated parking area for the plane, located as far as possible from the main terminal. None of the flight crew were allowed to get off the plane during take-off preparations. And before takeoff, a joint team consisting of the flight crew and a medical team sprayed disinfectant throughout the aircraft, the cockpit crew and baggage area.
The passengers were also required to undergo a medical checkup in a designated area.
“All passengers were healthy during their stay in Bali. Before they boarded the plane, the medical team checked their temperatures, which were normal,” Herry said. (dpk)