Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has appealed to all stakeholders in the transportation sector to take precautionary measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus to Indonesia.

"In a follow up to the appeal of the state secretary minister, I called on all stakeholders in the field of transportation, especially air and sea transportation, to watch closely developments of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, and take preventive measures intensively," Sumadi noted in a statement here on Monday.

Sumadi remarked that operators should intensively monitor the health condition of passengers and crew members, especially those coming from China.

It should also work in close collaboration with the local health authority at ports and airports to ensure that all passengers, especially from China, wear masks.

"Last night, I had instructed the Director General of Air Transportation and the Director General of Sea Transportation to work closely with AP I, AP II, and Pelindo I to IV to take necessary measures," he remarked.

Airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I (Persero) has tightened its surveillance for international passengers arriving at its airports and installed body thermal scanners to prevent the transmission of the deadly virus to Indonesia.

"As the operator of international airports serving as the main gates for tourists visiting Indonesia, we realize the likelihood of the corona virus entering Indonesia. The tightening of health screening for passengers is our initial attempt to preventing the transmission of the virus through tourists, especially those from affected countries," President Director of AP I Faik Fahmi explained.

Bali and Manado are the two key destinations for Chinese tourists.

In 2019, some 1.19 million Chinese tourists had arrived at Bali through the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, and over 116 thousand Chinese tourists had landed in Manado through the Sam Ratulangi Airport

The airport operator stated that it will refer to the Port Health Authority (KKP) the passengers detected with body temperature over 38 degrees Celsius and exhibiting symptoms of cough, fever, difficult breathing, and had earlier taken flights from China.

Over 50 people are dead -- all in China -- as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Over two thousand cases have been confirmed in mainland China.

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Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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