South Sulawesi to quarantine visitors for 14 days

South Sulawesi to quarantine visitors for 14 days

South Sulawesi Governor HM Nurdin paid a visit to Nusantara Seaport, Parepare city, on Friday (April 3, 2020). (ANTARA Foto/Ist)

We have all agreed to impose that policy. It must be upheld
Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - South Sulawesi Governor HM Nurdin Abdullah has ordered local authorities across the province to quarantine all visitors for 14 days to break the chain of transmission of the new coronavirus disease.

"We have all agreed to impose that policy. It must be upheld," he told journalists on Friday on the sidelines of his visit to the Nusantara Seaport in Parepare city. He was commenting on measures for halting the spread of COVID-19 in South Sulawesi Province.

Visitors would be quarantined for 14 days to ensure they are not infected by the deadly virus. They would be allowed to return to their provinces of origin after completing the quarantine, he said.

The provincial, district, and city administrations would work together to make sure the quarantine is effectively imposed in all urban and rural areas. All ports of entry to South Sulawesi would also be secured, the Governor revealed.

The provincial capital Makassar is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Sulawesi. To prevent the spread of the virus, the Governor has urged outsiders to delay their plans to visit the province during the Idul Fitri "mudik" season.

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"Mudik" refers to the annual exodus of citizens to their hometowns to celebrate Idul Fitri with their extended families and colleagues.

The Indonesian Government has decided against banning “mudik", though it has strongly appealed to citizens, especially Jakarta residents, to not return to their hometowns for Idul Fitri this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan notified journalists of the government's decision via a videoconference after a virtual meeting, chaired by President Joko Widodo, on Thursday in Jakarta.

Panjaitan pointed out that the government's official stance on “mudik” does not pertain to banning it. Instead, the government, along with community figures, have advised people against returning to their hometowns to ensure everyone’s safety.

This year, the Idul Fitri holidays will fall on May 24-25. The Muslim festivity marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, when Muslims around the world go on a fast.

For millions of Indonesian Muslims, including those living in Jakarta and its outskirts, returning to their hometowns in the islands of Java and Sumatra during the "mudik" period has become an annual tradition.

The new coronavirus disease that first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 has infected more than one million people globally, stated CNN, citing data released by the Johns Hopkins University on April 2, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to various parts of Indonesia. As of April 2, there have been 1,790 confirmed cases in the country and 170 deaths. A total of 112 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the disease. 

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