The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post/Batam
Several big events in Singapore have been postponed following the nation’s decision to raise its disease outbreak alert from yellow to orange in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gede Ngurah Swajaya said.
“Luckily, the Indonesian Embassy has no plans for mass gatherings in the near future, but some events that are scheduled for March are being postponed,” he said on Saturday, referring to an event held by the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) Travel and Coffee Asia.
According to the ambassador, Singapore decided to increase its alert level due to suspicions the virus had infected residents who had not visited China, where the outbreak originated, or interacted with Chinese citizens.
“By increasing the alert level, the Singapore government is also urging the postponement of mass events or the implementation of precautionary steps if such events are still held,” Swajaya said.
According to a press release issued by the Indonesian Embassy, Singapore’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 33 coronavirus cases.
Of the 33 cases, two patients have been discharged, while two are in a critical condition and are currently being treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). As of Feb. 6, 310 suspected coronavirus cases had been found to be negative, while 147 cases are currently being examined.
Batam Health Agency head Didi Kusumajadi said his agency would also step up its inspections of people entering Batam from Singapore.
“We will be more stringent toward people entering Batam from Singapore, but we are still formulating the procedures,” Didi said.
Riau Islands province was the second most popular destination for international travelers in Indonesia in 2019 with 2,590,802 foreign visitors, behind only Bali. As many as 1,228,489 visitors came from Singapore, while 260,274 came from China. (dpk)