Based on the information from the cruise operator, our two citizens opted to stay (in Japan).
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Two Indonesian crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship chose to stay in Japan, while 68 members that tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19) would soon be evacuated, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated here, Thursday.

"Based on information from the cruise operator, our two citizens opted to stay (in Japan). Once again, it is a voluntary decision to participate in this evacuation," Marsudi noted after a coordination meeting at the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs.

Some 78 Indonesian crew members were aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama owing to the outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Nine of them tested positive for coronavirus or COVID-19, but one of them was already cured, she elaborated.

Hence, 70 Indonesians can be evacuated.

“However, two of them are keen to stay, so we will only evacuate 68 crews," the minister stated.

Marsudi affirmed that an aircraft will be deployed for evacuation.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy revealed that the ship’s crew members will be airlifted once the government has received the go-ahead from Japan's authority.

"They (the ship crews) would be evacuated to the Sebaru Kecil Island in Seribu Islands, Jakarta. They will be the Health Ministry’s responsibility," he noted.

The crew members will pass a series of health checkups upon their arrival in Indonesia, he stated.

Some 240 crew members aboard the Diamond Princess, including several foreign nationals, will start disembarking on Thursday.

The cruise ship had onboard 3,700 passengers and crew from 56 countries and regions when it arrived in Yokohama this month. Most passengers disembarked last week while some crew members left Japan with the help of their governments.


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Translator: Indriani, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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