Natuna, Riau Islands Province (ANTARA) - Some 243 Indonesian citizens (WNI), whom the Indonesian government had selectively moved from Hubei Province, China, Feb 2, and placed on Natuna Island for undergoing a two-week observation, left the island for Jakarta, on Saturday.

"Hence, take care of your health, keep exercising a bit, and just keep moving. Ensure sufficient nutritional intake to stay healthy. Do not forget to drink herbal medicine," Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto remarked while seeing them off here on Saturday.

The 243 people were quarantined for two weeks after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Of the total, 238 were evacuees, mostly Indonesian students, while the rest were members of the evacuation team and flight crew.

Putranto, along with Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (PMK) Muhadjir Effendy and Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo, were present in Natuna to symbolically release and return them to their respective areas of origin.

Brandishing the nation's Red and White flags, several of them became tearful while lining up to listen to the ministers' remarks.

The WNI smiled when Coordinating Minister for PMK Muhadjir Effendy confirmed that they were healthy and proven to be free of COVID-19.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan in late 2019 has claimed 1,523 lives and infected 66,492 people, mainly in China.

No reports have, so far, been received of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia.
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Translator: Prisca TV, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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