Jakarta. Almost 400 Indonesian cruise ship crew members returned to Indonesia from Miami, the United States, on Monday after going through strict health protocols.
The Indonesians are employees of the Miami-based cruise company Carnival Cruise Line.
A total of 146 of them had been working on the Carnival Sunrise cruise ship, 139 on the Carnival Horizon, 67 on the Carnival Sensation and 46 on the Carnival Paradise.
All of them arrived in Jakarta on an Evelop Airlines flight.
"They went through a medical check-up before departing from Miami and then more health tests at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Each of them had their temperatures checked on a thermal scanner, their blood oxygen level measured and was given a short interview," the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated on Monday.
Although none of them had shown Covid-19 symptoms, the ship crew members would enter a mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
According to the ministry, 17,769 Indonesian crew members are currently on 122 cruises, which have become floating hotbeds for the coronavirus.
As of Monday, a total of 373 Indonesians abroad – spread over 27 countries and an unknown number of cruise ships – have contracted Covid-19.
A total of 101 of them are ship crew members, of which nine have recovered and one has died.
India has the most cases of Indonesians infected with the coronavirus, 60, Singapore has 45, Malaysia 44 and the United States 23.
Fourteen have died from the virus – four in the US, three in the Netherlands, one in the United Kingdom, two in Malaysia, two in Singapore, one in Turkey and one ship crew member from an unmentioned cruise ship.
A total of 57 have recovered from the virus – 15.2 percent of the group.
The US is the current global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 582,000 cases by Tuesday.
The World Health Organization's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Friday the WHO is working closely with affected countries to come up with effective strategies to fight Covid-19.
"The important factors to consider are that: transmission is controlled, sufficient public health and medical services are available, outbreak risks are minimized, preventive measures are in place in public spaces, importation risks are managed and communities are fully aware in this situation," he said in a statement.
The WHO and other global collaborations will need to supply 100 million medical masks and gloves to the affected countries, along with up to 25 million N95 respirators, gowns, face shields and 2.5 million diagnostic test kits.
Oxygen concentrators and other clinical equipment will also be needed.
"The World Food Programme estimates it will need approximately $280 million to cover the costs of storing and moving the supplies. We urge donors to support this system," Ghebreyesus said.