Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The I Gusti Ngurai Rai International Airport authority, Bali Island, has applied the concept of social distancing for passengers and others in the airport area to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"This social distancing has been made effective at the airport's areas since Wednesday (March 18)," spokesman of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) I at I Gusti Ngurai Rai International Airport Arie Ahsanurrohim stated here on Thursday.

In applying the rules of social distancing, the airport authority has affixed stickers at the security checkpoint and boarding gate areas to notify passengers and has rearranged chairs to ensure that a physical distance of one meter is maintained between them.

"We ensure a physical distance of one meter between the passengers, so that if one of them happens to fall sick, he or she is expected to not infect others seated next to him or her," Ahsanurrohim remarked.

The footmark stickers had also been placed on the floor of elevators and lifts to remind people inside the airport’s domestic and international terminals of the importance of maintaining physical distance between themselves, he stated.

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COVID-19, which initially struck in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019, has killed more than 8,900 people and infected at least 218,900 people worldwide.

In Indonesia, the virus has infected at least 227 people and killed 19 while 11 others have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Taking into account the increasing death toll and the spread of this virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

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 has repatriated several hundred citizens.

On February 2, a total of 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 were reunited with their families.

On March 2, 2020, President Jokowi announced that two Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infected confirmed by the government tended to rise steadily over the past days. Related news: PT Angkasa Pura II applies social distancing for aircraft passengers

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Translator: Naufal FY, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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