Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has applied a health protocol to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the arrest of foreign ship crew members over illegal fishing in the country's waters.

The ministry's Director General of Maritime and Fisheries Resources Tb Haeru Rahayu remarked that the Batam Port Health Office had conducted a health checkup of 22 Vietnamese ship crew members arrested over poaching in the North Natuna waters on Friday (April 10).

"The health check was conducted based on the protocol set by the government to contain COVID-19 transmission. We cooperate with the Batam Port Health Office to check the health status of the 22 crew members of the Vietnamese ship," Rahayu noted in a statement here on Saturday.

Rahayu affirmed that the health check was targeted at curbing the risk of coronavirus transmission among the ministry's officers handling the legal process against the foreign ship's crew.

"We have to ensure and protect our officers on duty. Secondly, as a coastal state, we did not ignore the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in handling the illegal poachers," he noted.

Meanwhile, Head of Batam's Marine and Fishery Resources Surveillance and Control (PSDKP) Salman Mokoginta affirmed that a series of health checks were conducted in cooperation with the Batam Port Health Office on 22 Vietnamese crew members as a preliminary screening.

"The health office has conducted a general health checkup that includes monitoring the body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory function, pulse rate, and throat condition," Salman explained.

Based on the preliminary screening, members of the ship's crew are in good health, with no indication of having contracted the COVID-19 infection.

However, Salman did lay emphasis on the mandatory 14-day quarantine they had to undergo to prevent a likely spread of the virus.

"They have yet to be quarantined. As of today, they have been quarantined for seven days, and this (the quarantine) will be imposed for 14 days," he added. Related news: Pontianak immigration detains 27 Vietnamese fishermen
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Translator: M Razi Rahman, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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