"If they exhibit no symptoms (of coronavirus), then they can return to their hometowns, with the ODP status. Shortly after arriving in their hometowns, they must maintain high discipline to conduct self-isolation," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Tuesday.
The president made the remarks during a limited meeting held via videoconference with Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, Indonesia Onward Cabinet ministers, and chiefs of relevant institutions. The meeting discussed the handing of incoming Indonesian citizens and restriction on the movement of foreign nationals.
The head of state has forecast that millions of Indonesian migrant workers and crew members will return home.
"We must closely observe the return of Indonesian citizens from several countries, particularly Malaysia. Their numbers may run into hundreds or thousands if not millions," he stated.
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The president admitted to having received reports of some 13 thousand Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia daily.
"In addition to the migrant workers in Malaysia, we must take precautionary measures against the return of Indonesian crew members (working for foreign ships). We forecast that their numbers may run into 10-11 thousand and that we must plan and prepare the phases of their screening," he stated.
He called for imposing strict health protocols on returning Indonesian citizens at airports, ports, and cross-border checkpoints.
"Those exhibiting symptoms (of coronavirus) must undergo isolation at hospitals, for instance, on Galang Island," he remarked.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia has risen to 1,414 as of Monday (March 30, 2020), and 75 people have recovered, while 122 others have died of the disease.
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