Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Lion Air revealed on Sunday that seven passengers of its JT-2742 flight leaving from Changsha's Huanghua International Airport in Hunan Province, China, to Manado in North Sulawesi Province had been confirmed free from coronavirus symptoms.

The Lion Air management had been notified by the Sam Ratulangi International Airport's health authority that the passengers from Changsha did not suffer the coronavirus symptoms, Lion Air's Spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro said.

The Lion Air aircraft's JT-2742 departed from Huanghua International Airport for Manado on Saturday at 02.40 p.m. local time by carrying 176 passengers and seven crew members, he said in a statement that ANTARA received here on Sunday.

"The flight has actually been prepared well. Before the departure, all crew members and passengers have got a thorough medical examination," he said, adding that the airplane arrived at Manado on Saturday at 07.59 p.m. local time.

Prihantoro said the airport's health workers conducted their medical examination when the crew members and passengers were still inside the aircraft or before disembarking.

"This is an endeavor to ensure the safety, security, and comfortability of both passengers and crew members," he added.

As of Sunday, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of 56 people in China, and many other countries, including the United States of America and Canada, have announced their confirmed cases.

However, none of confirmed cases has been found in Indonesia. Apart from this reality, since the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its official statement on the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the Indonesian Government has stayed alert.

As part of its precautionary measures, thermal scanners have been installed at various airports around the archipelago for screening international passengers.

The thermal scanners are aimed at detecting any foreign tourist suffering from the symptom of this novel (new) coronavirus.

The Authority of the state-owned airport operator, PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I) at Sam Ratulangi International Airport has also strengthened precautionary measures by installing a thermal scanner.

The foreign tourist arrivals were also given health alert cards because North Sulawesi Province has become one of the favorite destinations for foreign travelers, particularly those from China.

The inflow of Chinese travelers into North Sulawesi through the Sam Ratulangi International Airport could be categorized "high" while China was the source of the virus, Sam Ratulangi International Airport's Spokesperson Angga Maruli said.

The first case of coronavirus was declared by Chinese authorities after a person with pneumonia was hospitalized in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, according to an official statement of WHO.

As published in its official statement on January 9, 2020, WHO revealed that the "Chinese investigators conducted gene sequencing of the virus, using an isolate from one positive patient sample."

As for the outbreak of the coronavirus, ANTARA quoted a WHO report from its official website on Thursday as saying that it was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan on December 31, 2019.
Related news: Sam Ratulangi airport authority takes precautions against coronavirus
Related news: Sam Ratulangi airport open for intl flights


Translator: Aji C, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2020