Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) helped evacuate 188 Indonesian citizens from MV Dream World to the Indonesian warship, KRI dr. Soeharso-990, in the Durian Strait in Riau Islands Province on Wednesday.

Commander of Marine Security Task Force of the Fleet Command I, Commodore Yayan Sofyan, said that all the 188 Indonesian citizens employed as crew members on board the MV World Dream had tested negative for the coronavirus.

The evacuation process of the Indonesian citizens comprising 172 men and 16 women was smooth, thanks to the cooperation and good weather, he said.

They were transferred to KRI dr Soieharso from MV World Dream using MV World Dream's transfer boat.

All the MV World Dream crew members were received at KRI dr Soeharso and a check-up was conducted, he said.

The 188 Indonesian citizens were later taken to Sebaru Island, Thousand Islands, off North Jakarta's coast, onboard the warship. They are expected to arrive on the island on February 28.

During the evacuation of the Indonesian citizens from MV World Dream, the Indonesian Navy cooperated with the Health Ministry through the Batam Port Health Office, the Health Laboratory Center in Jakarta and the Health Research and Development Board in Jakarta.

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

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

However, a few days after the passengers left the cruise liner, one of them tested positive for the coronavirus, after which the country refused to let the cruise liner dock. The cruise liner later asked for a permit to dock near Bintan Island, but the Indonesian government turned down the request. Related news: Indonesia to evacuate citizens from Dream World cruise ship
Related news: Dream Cruises repatriates Indonesian crew over COVID-19 outbreak

Translator: Yuniati Jannatun Naim/Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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