Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) -

More than 4,000 Indonesian migrant workers who have arrived in Riau Province from Malaysia have been placed under surveillance as the neighboring country has also witnessed a COVID-19 outbreak, a local government official said.

"The day our migrant workers arrived in Riau, our health workers checked their body temperature and sprayed them with disinfectant liquid," spokesperson for the Riau Provincial Administration's Task Force for Handling COVID-19, Indra Yovi, was quoted by ANTARA as saying here on Thursday.

The authorities are quarantining all those who present with COVID-19 symptoms and a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius at the isolation ward set up in the arrivals terminal, and those declared healthy are being allowed to return home, Yovi said.

However, the healthy migrant workers are required to observe self-quarantine to ensure they are infection-free and so they do not transmit the virus to relatives or other contacts.

Workers need to consistently practice the recommended physical distancing measures during self-quarantine, Yovi advised.

Riau Province, Sumatra Island received 4,444 Indonesian migrant workers after the Malaysian government imposed a lockdown amid public health concern over the spread of the coronavirus disease. The workers arrived from the fourth week of March to April 1, 2020, according to head of Riau Provincial Administration's Communication, Information, and Statistics Office, Chairul Riski.

The workers entered Indonesia through three seaports in Riau -- Tanjung Harapan in Selatpanjang, Meranti Islands District; Bandar Sri Junjungan in Dumai City; and, Bandar Sri Laksamana in Bengkalis District, Riski continued.

Meanwhile, Riau Governor Syamsuar has appealed to heath workers in the the province to prioritize rapid testing of Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia.

Governor Syamsuar has urged residents to understand the rationale behind giving priority to returning migrant workers since their numbers have tended to increase by the day. Those returning from Malaysia have been categorized as people under surveillance.

In addition, several residents of Riau Province have returned home from various cities in Java Island, including Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta, which have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases. They have also been placed under surveillance, he pointed out.

Data from the Riau Health Office indicated that as of Wednesday morning, the province had 16,694 people under surveillance and 115 patients under treatment, the Governor stated, adding that the results of the rapid tests were expected to be known soon.

Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 would be immediately quarantined or hospitalized, he stated.
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Reporter: FB Anggoro, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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