Indonesia to evacuate citizens from Dream World cruise ship

Indonesia to evacuate citizens from Dream World cruise ship

Secretary of the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Ministry  dr Achmad Yurianto during an interview with the press in Jakarta on Friday. ANTARA/ Muhammad Zulfikar

The ship is now in the international waters near Bintan
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia plans to use a naval ship to pick up its citizens suspected of contracting coronavirus (Covid-19) aboard Dream World cruise liner where they are employed as crew members. Technically, the Indonesian Navy ship will meet Dream World cruise liner in the international waters near Bintan Island, Secretary of the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Ministry Dr. Achmad Yurianto said in Jakarta Friday.

From the cruise liner the Indonesian citizens will be transferred to the naval ship on a lifeboat, he said.

The Malaysian-flagged cruise liner reportedly dropped all its passengers in Hong Kong and later sailed only with 1,104 crew members on board.

"Some 270 of the crew members are Indonesian citizens," he said.

After all passengers left the cruise liner, the Hong Kong authorities checked all crew members using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and all of them tested negative for coronavirus, he said.

However, a few days after the passengers left the cruise liner, one of them was found testing positive for the coronavirus.

"When the check was underway the cruise liner had sailed to Malaysia without any passenger," he said.

After one of the passengers tested positive for the coronavirus, all country refused the cruise liner to dock. The cruise liner last asked for a permit to dock near Bintan Island, but the Indonesian government turned down the request.

"The ship is now in the international waters near Bintan," he said. 

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