The ban will be valid from April 13 to May 30, 2020, Chief of the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Transportation Office Isyak Nuka stated here on Monday.
Nuka made the statement in response to MV Umsini's plan to carry passengers from the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang to East Nusa Tenggara. The ship was originally planned to call at Tenau Port in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province.
"I have just signed a letter banning all ships from carrying passengers, except for logistics," he remarked.
Nuka, concurrently the area and transportation coordinator of the COVID-19 East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Task Force, spoke of having sent the letter to the general manager of the Kupang branch of state-owned shipping company PT Pelni, with copies addressed to heads of state-owned ferry operators (ASDP) in Kupang, Saape, and Selayar, as well as speed boat operators.
The ban came in close heels to the first coronavirus case reported in the province.
The ban on passenger ships to call at port was imposed owing to the shortage of health facilities to thwart the spread of COVID-19 in East Nusa Tenggara.
On the basis of the COVID-19 data, the province reported the first confirmed coronavirus case on April 12, 2020.
Related news: Ship quarantined at port as passengers, crew test positive for corona
Related news: Health Minister approves PSBB in Pekanbaru to reduce COVID-19 spread
EDITED BY INE