We cancel all those events over fears of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - The Surabaya city administration in East Java has canceled all international events scheduled in the city in 2020 to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The city's Assistant for Economy and Development, Ikhsan, stated here on Wednesday that the government had made preparations for various international events in which the invitees would also comprise foreign delegations.

"However, we cancel all those events over fears of the COVID-19 outbreak," he stated.

Some ministries from foreign countries have also canceled their plans to visit Surabaya, and on the other hand, Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini had also called off her overseas trips over the outbreak.

"These cancelations are part of our precautionary measures against the outbreak. Surabaya is expected to withstand this virus outbreak," he stated.

Foreign delegations were expected to attend international events comprising the series of events to commemorate the 727th anniversary of Surabaya, including the Rujak festival and Surabaya Vaganza, among other events.

In another development, the Surabaya administration has denied entry of foreign cruise ships into the city's port, including MV Columbus, scheduled to anchor at Surabaya on March 12, 2020.

Ikhsan explained that the move aimed at minimizing the risk of coronavirus spreading in the city and to safeguard its citizens.

For the time being, he noted that Surabaya deny entry to MV Columbus cruise ship to dock in Surabaya on March 12.

"The ship's plan to dock in Surabaya has raised concerns among citizens. Hence, we decided to not allow the ship to visit Surabaya," he stated.

The decision was based on the outcome of a coordination meeting attended by the port authority, the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Immigration Office, Customs Office, PT Pelindo, and other institutions involved in the entry of the ship.

"A decision was taken at the meeting that the Surabaya administration will temporarily not allow passengers and crew members of cruise ships to visit Surabaya City," he explained.

Earlier, the East Java administration had denied the entry of Norwegian-flagged MV Viking Sun cruise ship, carrying 1,395 passengers and crew, to prevent mass panic among citizens.

The decision was echoed by Surabaya mayor, who had received information of two passengers aboard the ship suffering from cold and fever.

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Translator: Abdul Hakim, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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