Passengers queue for immigration check at Supadio International Airport in Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan, on Thursday. (Antara Photo/Jessica Helena Wuysang)

Foreign Ministry Orders Indonesian Travelers to Return Home as 48 Test Positive for Covid-19

BY :NUR YASMIN

MARCH 20, 2020

Jakarta. The Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Thursday around 48 Indonesians abroad – in Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Macau and India – have tested positive for Covid-19.  

"Ten Indonesians have been declared healthy and sent home. But there are 14 [coronavirus-positive] cases in Singapore, nine in Japan from the Diamond Princess [cruise ship], one in Taiwan, one in Australia, one in Saudi Arabia, one in Macau, eight in India and 13 in Malaysia," Judha Nugraha, the ministry's director for the protection of Indonesian citizens, said through a video conference on Thursday.

The 13 cases in Malaysia were related to a tabligh Islamic gathering in Selangor held at the end of February.

The ministry said Indonesian travelers still overseas should start planning their return home since some countries are beginning to implement widespread lockdowns.

"Since many countries are beginning to implement lockdowns, we advise Indonesian travelers to return home immediately. As for our diaspora – migrant workers, students – stay alert and obey the local government," ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said on Thursday.

Australia and New Zealand are locking down their borders on Friday.

"To avoid getting stranded, we advise everyone to start planning their return. Our consulates and embassies [in Australia and New Zealand] will offer help," Teuku said.

Teuku rejected suggestions the ministry's warning was issued because Indonesia will also lock down its borders soon.

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