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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Jakarta’s port tightens measures on foreign ships, bars crews from disembarking

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 9, 2020   /   02:14 pm
COVID-19: Jakarta’s port tightens measures on foreign ships, bars crews from disembarking An aerial view of Tanjung priok industrial port showing a container ship. ( Images)

State-owned Indonesia Port Corporation II (IPC) is prohibiting crew members of all foreign vessels docking at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok Port from getting off their ships as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country.

The increased precautionary measures also stipulated that a crew change would only be allowed after all crew members undergo an observation period and are given clearance by the Port Health Authority, the company’s president director Arif Suhartono said. 

“All foreign cargo vessels docking in IPC ports will be thoroughly checked. The policy doesn’t apply only to Chinese vessels, as the COVID-19 has spread to more than 60 countries,” he said in a statement on Saturday. 

Indonesia has announced six confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, with Case 6 identified as one of crew members who previously worked on board the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan. 

The man was initially evacuated along with 68 other Indonesian crew members to Sebaru Kecil Island — part of the Thousand Islands archipelagic regency of Jakarta — to undergo quarantine. 

However, he was later transferred to another hospital in Jakarta over suspicions of having been infected, after which he was declared positive for the coronavirus. 

Foreign ships that sought to dock in Tanjung Priok Port were also required to file an online report of the vessel's last 10 ports of call, Arif said. 

The agents of the foreign vessels were required to provide a letter signed by every captain indicating that no crew members suffered from pneumonia, he said, adding that the letter should be submitted at least 48 hours before the vessels wanted to moor. 

”Foreign cruise ships, in particular, are allowed to dock, but all of the passengers must be checked and obtain a permit from local authorities if they wish to disembark to go on tours,” Arif said.

The IPC would also increase its monitoring of Indonesian vessels, especially of passengers from Batam, a city in Riau Islands province neighboring Singapore, which has recorded dozens of COVID-19 cases. 

Last week, the Jakarta International Cargo Terminal (JICT) in Tanjung Priok Port briefly halted operations on Friday to conduct health inspections as a captain of a foreign ship, the CMA CGM Virginia, that was docking at the port showed symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

“The CMA CGM Virginia captain has been brought to the port’s hospital. So far, there is no evidence that the captain has been infected and his condition is improving,” Arif said.

The ship sailed from the JICT on Friday at 10 p.m. after receiving clearance from port authorities. (mpr)