We continue (to pay attention). It is still in process
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo said the government would continue to monitor the condition of Indonesian nationals on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, while dialogues with local authorities would continue in an effort to achieve a smooth evacuation process.

The President said in Jakarta, Wednesday, the government must consider many aspects before evacuating Indonesian citizens from the cruise ship, some of which include the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak has become increasingly widespread and poses serious threats in Japan, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. The evacuation process is also considering the security of 267 million people in Indonesia.

"We continue (to pay attention). It is still in process," he said.

The President asked a number of Ministers, including Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhajir Effendy, and Minister of Health, Terawan Agus Putranto, to calculate all aspects before the state proceeds with the evacuation process.

"This (the virus) has spread to many countries. First, it was China, and then South Korea, and Japan, Iran, and Italy. All decisions must be taken carefully and not in a rush," he said.

There are a total of 78 Indonesians on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship as crew members, nine of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized in Japan. Some 69 other Indonesian citizens were declared healthy, said Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto on Tuesday (25/2).

At the moment, President Jokowi said the government is first evacuating 188 Indonesian citizens who were part of the crew from another cruise ship, World Dream cruises. The number of Indonesian citizens working as crew members on the World Dream is larger in number compared to those onboard the Diamond Princess, and the location of the World Dream ship is geographically closer to Indonesia.

Jokowi said the World Dream crew members would be taken to Sebaru Island in DKI Jakarta's Thousand Islands. A number of health observation facilities, said Jokowi, had already been prepared on the island.

"It was chosen because of the readiness factor," he said.

According to the government's plan, the Indonesians from the World Dream ship will arrive at Sebaru Kecil Island on Friday (28/2).

After arriving in Sebaru, the 188 Indonesian citizens from the World Dream ship will be observed for two weeks in accordance with the health procedures established by the World Health Organization. (INE)

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Translator: Indra Arief Pribadi/Aria Cindy
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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