Medan. Authorities in Medan, North Sumatra, have put 68 people who had arrived back from China earlier this month under house quarantine for two weeks as a precaution to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from reaching Indonesia.
Alwi Hasibuan, the head of North Sumatra's health department, said on Tuesday that the 68 individuals had arrived from China on Feb. 1 through the Kualanamu International Airport, a day before the government closed its borders to all travelers from China.
"They were quarantined because they had been traveling in China," Alwi said.
The individuals are still forbidden from leaving their home or interacting with their family members. They are also required to wear a face mask at all times. Medical workers visit them at regular intervals to monitor their condition.
"They're in good health and have shown no suspicious signs, but we will continue the quarantine as required," Alwi said. The government says people suspected to have contracted the coronavirus would be quarantined for at least 14 days.
Among the people quarantined in Medan are five Chinese nationals who have been working at the Kandibata hydropower project in North Sumatra's Tanah Karo district.
"They were given a medical check at the Kualanamu Airport when they landed and were sprayed with disinfectants when they arrived at the project site. They're still not allowed to make contact with other workers," said Ginting, an officer at the project.
The Chinese nationals now stay in an isolated building in the project area, away from the other workers. "They're all healthy and in good condition," Ginting said.
Indonesia has yet to report any cases of coronavirus infection even though more than 43,100 people have now been infected by the virus globally and the death toll from the outbreak had exceeded 1,000 on Tuesday.
Most of the reported cases of infection and all but two of the deaths were in mainland China, but the outbreak has sparked panics in neighboring Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Indonesia repatriated 238 of its citizens from Wuhan, the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus outbreak in China's Hubei province, on Feb. 2 and put all of them in quarantine on Natuna Island.
On Saturday, the government raised its travel alert for Singapore, urging its citizens in the city to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities, keep fit and take care of their personal hygiene.