"Batam remains secure and peaceful," he told journalists in Batam, the biggest city in Riau Islands Province which shares a sea with Singapore.
Tens of Batam city's residents who were under observation after being suspected to be suffering from COVID-19 and after having direct contacts with those infected by the disease had tested negative to COVID-19, Rudi argued.
"All suspected COVID-19 patients have been discharged," he said, adding that in responding to the ongoing threats of this deadly virus outbreak, the central government had planned to build a quarantine and isolation facility in Galang Island.
The regional government accepted the central government's decision because the public health facility was fully constructed by the Public Works and Housing Ministry and would later be operated by the central government, he said.
The Indonesian government has put in place precautionary measures since the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak that first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019.
In addition to installing thermal scanners at the country's airports and seaports, as well as making preparations at hospitals across the archipelago, the Indonesian government repatriated several hundred citizens.
On February 2, some 238 Indonesian nationals were airlifted from Wuhan, China, to be quarantined in Natuna District's Riau Islands Province. All these Indonesians were found to be healthy and reunited with their families.
The Indonesian government also repatriated 188 Indonesians employed as crew members of the cruise ship World Dream Liner, and 69 Indonesians employed as cabin crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The World Dream cruise ship's crew members and 69 cabin crew of the Diamond Princess had been sent to Sebaru Kecil Island, Jakarta's Thousand Islands, for a 14-day quarantine.
On March 2, 2020, President Jokowi declared that two Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19. They were quarantined in an isolated room at the Jakarta-based Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The deadly virus outbreak, which has spread to 118 countries and territories around the world, has claimed at least 4,000 lives – most of whom are in China – and infected over 119,179 people worldwide.
The Indonesian authority has reported that there have been 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases within the country, as of Tuesday. (INE)
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