President to take immediate decision on evacuation of 74 ship crews

President to take immediate decision on evacuation of 74 ship crews

Ambulances left the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Japan's Yokohama Port on Tuesday (Feb 18, 2020). Some of the ship's passengers tested positive for COVID-19. (ANTARA/REUTERS/Yoshio Tsunoda/aa./sh)

Those who tested positive could not be evacuated, and they have to be given medical treatment there. We only evacuate healthy crew members.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will take immediate decision on the evacuation of 74 Indonesian crew members of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is currently being quarantined off Yokohama, Japan.

The 74 crew members of the ship tested negative for coronavirus, while four other Indonesian crew members are confirmed to have contracted the COVID-19 and are under medical treatment in Japan.

"I have conveyed the options to the president, and he will consider it in a day or two. The decision lies in his hands. I believe that the president will consider it wisely," Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy stated at the Presidential Palace complex here on Thursday.

The cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port and was under quarantine after some of its passengers had tested positive for coronavirus.

"Those who tested positive could not be evacuated, and they have to be given medical treatment there. We only evacuate healthy crew members. The case might be different with those in Wuhan (China)," Effendy stated.

The Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo has maintained steady communication with the Indonesians aboard the ship, offered logistical support, and ensured protection for them.

"Those onboard the ship are healthy, but they must be placed under observation. The treatment could be different with Indonesians evacuated from Wuhan," he stated.

The government is also contemplating on whether they would be evacuated by sea or air.

"There are options to evacuate them aboard a ship or airplane. We will inform you later," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto highlighted the need for him to prepare all equipment before they would evacuate the ship crew members.

"Including the ship, I will check this afternoon," Putranto said.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Japan has allowed hundreds of passengers and crews of the Diamond Princess to leave the ship after being quarantined for 14 days aboard the ship.

There are 3,700 people aboard the ship, and it could take days for all passengers to leave the ship.

As many as 620 passengers are infected with the coronavirus.

Some countries have planned to evacuate their citizens from the ship, with the US having brought home its 300 citizens.

As of Thursday, 75,661 people are confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus worldwide, of which 74,566 cases were found in China, 621 cases aboard Diamond Princess, 84 cases in Singapore, and 84 cases in Japan, and the remaining in more than 20 other countries.

A total 2,125 deaths were reported and 16,194 were cured.

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