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Jakarta Post

Sabang mayor calls for cruise ship to delay arrival in wake of coronavirus outbreak

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 13, 2020   /   01:03 pm
Sabang mayor calls for cruise ship to delay arrival in wake of coronavirus outbreak Illustration of a cruise ship. (Shutterstock/NAN728)

The mayor of Sabang, Aceh has called for foreign cruise ship MS Artania to delay its planned arrival to the city in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter addressed to the Sabang Free Trade Zone and Port Management Body (BPKS) seen by The Jakarta Post, Sabang Mayor Nazaruddin had asked the BPKS head to prevent the foreign ship from entering Sabang to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading to the region.

“After taking feedback from the public into consideration […] we have requested that the cruise ship postpone its visit to Sabah until the World Health Organization declares that the situation is safe enough,” Nazaruddin wrote in the letter.

The MS Artania, which has 1,200 passengers and 502 crew members on board, planned to make a stop in Sabang on Feb. 16. The passengers mostly hail from European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Norway.

The rejection and quarantine of cruise ships is the latest effort by governments around the world seeking to contain the outbreak ever since Japan quarantined the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its 3,700 passengers in Yokohama after one of the passengers tested positive for the virus.

Another cruise ship, the MS Westerdam, has been denied entry into port by five countries, most recently Cambodia.