"In accordance with the social affairs minister's instruction to play an active part in the handling of COVID-19, we have followed strict procedures from the central government in receiving Indonesian migrant workers returned from Malaysia," Director General of Social Rehabilitation Harry Hikmat noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
The migrant workers are victims of human trafficking earlier detained at the Immigration Depo in Pekan Nanas, Johor State, Malaysia, for various backgrounds, including the absence of work permit and overstaying.
They were under quarantine at the Trauma Center (RPTC) Tanjung Pinang in Riau Islands Province before being returned to their hometowns.
Hikmat expounded that the deportation was conducted in accordance with the protocol at the entry gate of Indonesia, where their body temperature was checked and they presented the Health Alert Card (HAC) to the health officials at the port.
The health officials had also reminded them to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, wear mask when they ail from cough or cold, contact officials at the arrival gate when they need medical help, and avoid stigma and discrimination against border crossers from certain countries related to the COVID-19 crisis.
"During their stay at the RPTC, social workers will furnish information on COVID-19, its transmission, and prevention. The police will also monitor them to ensure that physical distancing is practiced optimally. They will be quarantined here for 14 days," he stated.
During the period, he noted that the government will provide essentials, including clothing, bath set, and other necessary items for women and children.
In 2019, the Social Affairs Ministry has sent home 7,175 Indonesians victims of human trafficking from Johor and Kuching, Malaysia.
During the period from January to March 2020, a total of 1,502 Indonesians were deported from the two regions. Related news: Malaysia delays deportation of undocumented Indonesian migrant workers
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