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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: US missions in Indonesia order employees' dependents to return to homeland

  • Apriza Pinandita
    Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 27, 2020   /   12:33 pm
COVID-19: US missions in Indonesia order employees' dependents to return to homeland Children ride scooters across the plaza at the United States Supreme Court, following the government's notice to halt all building tours due to the COVID-19, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, on March 17. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

In view of the development of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the United States Department of State has ordered the departure of certain family members of its employees in the archipelago.  

In a release posted on the US Embassy's website on Thursday, the embassy said dependents under the age 21 from the US Embassy in Jakarta, the US Mission to ASEAN, the US Consulate General Surabaya and the US Consulate Medan had been asked to leave the country.

“The Department of State made this decision due to evidence of COVID-19 in Indonesia, current Indonesian medical capacity, and current availability of flights out of Indonesia,” the release read.

Meanwhile, the embassy and Consulate Generals will remain open for mission-critical functions only. Services for US citizens remain available.

Under the Global Level 4 Health Advisory, US citizens in Indonesia should arrange for an immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an extended period.  

Those who are seeking to depart Indonesia should make their own travel arrangements as soon as practicable, since commercial flights are still available, albeit, at significantly reduced levels, the release read.

“We strongly encourage US citizens, whenever they travel abroad, to enroll their travel plans on www.travel.state.gov using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and to read the country information found on the site,” the embassy said in the release on Thursday.

The embassy called on citizens to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website for the most up-to-date information and read the CDC’s latest recommendations to know what they can do to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions,” it read.

“Visit our embassy webpage for information on conditions in Indonesia. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States,” it added.

“Seek medical care right away if you believe you may have COVID-19 [or similar symptoms] or were exposed to someone who may have COVID-19 in the last six weeks”.

The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in Indonesia have soared to 78 as the Health Ministry announced 20 more deaths on Thursday, the country's highest one day death toll increase.

Jakarta is the province with the highest number of deaths with 46, followed by West Java with 11 and Central Java with six. 

Indonesia's death toll is the highest in Southeast Asia, followed by the Philippines with 45, and its mortality rate of 8.73 percent is among the highest in the world.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry's disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, announced 103 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases nationwide to 893.