If the discriminatory acts do happen, they are absolutely unacceptable. Whatever the reasons for doing so, they cannot be accepted
Jakarta (ANTARA) - A senior Indonesian official has refuted allegations of any discriminatory acts against those suffering from COVID-19 symptoms and stated that the disease could infect anybody regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. "If the discriminatory acts do happen, they are absolutely unacceptable. Whatever the reasons for doing so, they cannot be accepted," Indonesia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar told journalists in Jakarta Wednesday.

Commenting on concerns of the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Masafumi Ishii over unpleasant acts committed against his citizens, including children, in the country, Siregar said the Indonesian Government refuted any such allegations in handling COVID-19 cases.

Ambassador Ishii had expressed his concerns over Japanese nationals staying in Indonesia surrounding the COVID-19 issues in the embassy's press statement and with a video released on a social media account.

The Japanese citizens residing in Indonesia were not the source of the COVID-19. Instead, they are true friends of all Indonesians, according to Ambassador Ishii.

None of the Indonesian government's policies supports the discriminatory practices in handling those suffering from the symptoms or are confirmed COVID-19 cases, Siregar said.

"This is a condition that demands cooperation, common understanding and commitment from all human beings. This is not a matter of a country and its citizens because the novel coronavirus does not know passports," 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, 238 Indonesian nationals were airlifted from Wuhan, China, to then be quarantined in Natuna District's Riau Islands Province. All of 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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Translator: Yashinta DP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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