Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan has so far arranged six special flights to help nearly one thousand Indonesian citizens fly back to the country from Brunei Darussalam.

On Sunday, July 19, 2020, the embassy arranged its sixth special flight to Jakarta to repatriate 246 Indonesian citizens and migrant workers.

As many as 912 Indonesian citizens and migrant workers have returned to the country from Brunei Darussalam on the six special flights, according to a press release issued by the Indonesian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, which was received here on Monday.

The first special flight was arranged by the embassy on May 1, 2020 and was bound for Jakarta; the second flight, bound for Jakarta, was arranged on May 15; the third flight, bound for Surabaya, was operated on May 17, 2020; the fourth flight, bound for Jakarta, on June 21, 2020; and, the fifth flight, bound for Jakarta, on July 5, 2020.

The sixth flight carried three seriously ill Indonesian citizens and seven Bruneian diplomats with their families to Indonesia, bringing the total number of passengers on board to 253.

"Taking into account that there are still many Indonesian citizens and migrant workers still submitting requests to return to Indonesia, the Indonesian Embassy is planning a seventh special flight in August, but this time to Surabaya," said Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Sujatmiko.

Ambassador Sujatmiko further explained that the seventh flight will accommodate Indonesian citizens and migrant workers hailing from East Java and its surrounding areas.

He also expressed the hope that by September this year, the Royal Brunei Airlines will resume normal flight operations to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali.

Except the repatriation of the seriously ill and those released from prison, the return of Indonesian nationals was self-funded. A majority of those who returned from Brunei Darussalam were migrant workers whose employment contracts had expired. The Indonesian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan provided all passengers with gloves, masks, and travel permits. In addition, each passenger was asked to fill a yellow card (Health Alert Card) issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia.

Upon their arrival in Indonesia, returnees are undergoing COVID-19 screening and protocols, including a swab test and a 14-day quarantine. (INE)

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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