Natuna residents urged to remain calm over Indonesians from Wuhan

Natuna residents urged to remain calm over Indonesians from Wuhan

Director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Ministry dr. Wiendra Waworuntu

What we need to tell them is that they need not worry too much about the presence of Indonesian citizens from Wuhan, China, due to restrictions on the movement of our colleagues in Natuna to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has appealed to Natuna residents not to worry over the presence of 238 Indonesians quarantined in Natuna after being evacuated from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, as they are in good health. "What we need to tell them is that they need not worry too much about the presence of Indonesian citizens from Wuhan, China, due to restrictions on the movement of our colleagues in Natuna to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus," Director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Ministry Dr. Wiendra Waworuntu said in Jakarta Tuesday,

The 238 Indonesians are under observation for 14 days. If during that time they are declared healthy, they will be allowed to return to their families, Waworuntu said.

"As we see them now, they are healthy. They are our brothers so if they are ill, we will be upset too. This means that the state is present to help its citizens," she said.

Natuna residents were upset when they learned of the presence of the Indonesians apparently because they were not well informed or were not prepared for their presence, she said.

Hundreds of residents opted to leave Ranai, Natuna, Riau Islands a day after the government quarantined the Indonesians in the capital of Natuna District. They feared that the Indonesians could be infected with coronavirus while in Wuhan.

To make thing worse, the Natuna district administration issued circulars asking schools to close from February 3 to 17, prompting residents to return to their hometowns and seek refuge.

However, the Home Affairs Ministry issued a circular asking the Natuna district administration to revoke the circular.

The government decided to evacuate the Indonesians and quarantine them at a military compound in Natuna, Riau Islands Province.

While 238 Indonesians were airlifted, seven others remained in the Chinese city, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto stated earlier.

Four of the seven Indonesians refused evacuation as they felt more comfortable there, though they had been offered the opportunity to join the emergency evacuation, while three others failed the health examinations by the Chinese authorities before departure, he stated. (INE)

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