The Waingapu port authority in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara has rejected a yacht carrying 10 foreign nationals to dock in the waters of East Sumba District as precautionary measures to prevent the entry of coronavirus or COVID-19.
"The yacht intended to dock in East Sumba on Saturday (March 14) but we rejected it to prevent the entry of coronavirus which has been spreading widely," Chief of the Waingapu Port Authority Office (KSOP) Anis Kumanireng said in a press statement released on Sunday.
The port authority rejected the Bulan Baru yacht in accordance with the instruction form East Sumba District Head Gidion Mbilijora to prevent the entry of coronavirus to the district, he said.
"All elements of relevant agencies in the district have agreed at a meeting last week to prevent coronavirus so we implemented the district head's instruction," he said.
He said the port authority only allowed the yacht which also carried a tour guide and six crew members to dock for a while for refueling and loading logistics.
"For the humanitarian reason, we allowed the yacht to dock at the port for a while for refueling and loading logistics," he said.
He said his office will soon coordinate with the agent to see the destination of the yacht in order to issue its sailing permit.
Meanwhile, dr Hindarti Handayani of the Waingapu Port Health Quarantine Office said her side did not conduct a medical test on
any of the yacht's passengers and crew members.
"We only informed them of the district head's instruction banning the entry of foreign nationals to East Sumba while the COVID-19 outbreak still occurs," she said.
"We insisted on refusing them to descend (from the yacht) since the medical treatment cost of each COVID-19 patient is very expensive, while at the same time East Sumba is not ready to handle (COVID-19 patients) in terms of medical devices. So we had better anticipate it," she said.
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