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Jakarta Post

Miles away, Indonesian students continue studies, hope to return to Wuhan soon

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Tue, February 25, 2020   /   04:56 pm
Miles away, Indonesian students continue studies, hope to return to Wuhan soon Indonesian evacuees, who were repatriated from Wuhan, China due to COVID-19 outbreak, take a photo of themselves after finishing their 14-day quarantine program in Natuna, Riau Islands on Feb. 15, 2020. All of the evacuees were declared free of the virus. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

It has been a week since Diza Laila returned to her family in Medan, North Sumatra, after being repatriated earlier this month from Wuhan, China, where she was studying.

The 18-year-old student underwent a 14-day quarantine in Natuna, Riau Islands, before she was allowed to go home over fears of the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Diza is a student at the Wuhan University of Technology, majoring in computer science.

She said that despite being in Medan, she was still attending online classes given by her lecturers at the university. She expressed confidence that the Chinese government would be able to deal with the virus.

“Hopefully, Wuhan will return to normal so the students, including me, can return to finish our studies,” Diza told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

She said there were 14 Indonesian students studying at her university in Wuhan. They were all residing in the university dormitory.

“When [the outbreak occurred], we were not allowed to leave the dormitory until the Indonesian government eventually repatriated us on Feb. 1,” she said.

When the outbreak hit the city, Wuhan turned into a ghost town as no one had the courage to leave home, Diza said. The commercial areas were closed as well. 

Diza said she first heard about the outbreak in Wuhan from the Chinese government in early December 2019. She said she was afraid and immediately wanted to go home to Medan.

Alhamdulillah [praise to God] I am in Medan now,” she said happily, despite the fact that certain friends and neighbors seemed to be afraid to physically interact with her after she arrived on Feb. 16. 

“I can understand that – because of the lack of information,” said Diza, who felt relieved when she was declared free of the virus.

North Sumatra Health Agency head Alwi Mujahit Hasibuan said he was happy to know that the three Medan students in Wuhan, including Diaz, had reached home.

“They are not infected with the virus. There is nothing to worry about in interacting with them,” said Alwi as he received Diza at his office on Monday.

He said that no North Sumatran residents or foreign visitors had the virus so far. He said the 84 people who had undergone house quarantine in the province had been declared healthy.

“All the 84 people have returned to their normal activities,” said Alwi, adding that their house quarantine ended on Sunday.


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak