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COVID-19: Komodo National Park deny entry to cruise ships

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, March 19, 2020  /  06:31 pm
COVID-19: Komodo National Park deny entry to cruise ships

Komodo dragons do their thing on Rinca Island in Labuan Bajo, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, in March 2018. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

The Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara’s West Manggarai regency has denied entry to a cruise ship in an effort to prevent any communication of the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

In a circular issued on Wednesday, the park management asserts that the restriction will be in force from Thursday until May 19.

“We have issued this restriction to protect our employees as well as people living inside the Komodo National Park area from the virus,” park management head Lukita Awang Nisyantara said on Thursday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He added that the temporary restriction would be evaluated later by the park management, along with the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation Directorate General and regional administrations.

Read also: Tour guides hit hard as COVID-19 strangles tourist destinations

The restriction had been issued considering park visitors’ intensive interaction with employees and local residents, which could ease the transmission of the novel coronavirus. “We have issued the restriction to protect [employees and residents],” said Lukita.

A number of cruise ships scheduled to dock at the park are known to pass countries affected by COVID-19, such as China, Vietnam, Japan, Australia and the United States.

The government has declared the COVID-19 pandemic as non-natural disaster as the number of positive cases in the country has been rising sharply. Health authorities have logged 309 COVID-19 cases in Indonesia as of Thursday, with 25 patients having died and 19 having recovered from the disease. (dpk)

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