Jakarta. The Foreign Affairs Ministry has banned travelers from Iran, Italy and South Korea from entering Indonesia as the three countries continue to struggle to contain a widespread Covid-19 outbreak.
More than 95,400 people around the world have now contracted the novel coronavirus – now officially called the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Covid-19 is the name of the disease – with South Korea, Italy and Iran being the top three countries outside China with the most number of confirmed cases.
"There has been a significant rise in the number of Covid-19 cases outside China, especially in those three countries, Iran, Italy and South Korea," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in Jakarta on Thursday.
She said travelers from Tehran, Qom and Gilan in Iran, Lombardi, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Piedmont in Italy, and Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in South Korea are banned from entering Indonesia.
"For everyone's safety, Indonesia bans the entry and transit of travelers who in the last 14 days have been to [these regions]," Retno said.
The ban is effective starting from March 8.
Travelers not from the aforementioned cities must provide a clean bill of health from a health authority in their countries upon check-in at the airport, or they will be denied from entering Indonesia.
Before landing, the visitors also need to fill in a health alert card provided by the Health Ministry to make it easier for the authorities to track them down when necessary.
Indonesia has imposed a similar ban on travelers coming from China since Feb. 2 in an effort to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
The most populous country in Southeast Asia has since reported two coronavirus cases in its territory, involving human-to-human transmission from a Japanese national visiting the country from Malaysia.
There are 5,766 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Korea today, while Italy, apparently becoming a critical stepping stone for the virus transmission in Europe, had reported 3,089 cases by Thursday.
Iran has reported 2,922 cases in its territory so far. Some high-ranking officials in the Iranian government have also been infected with the virus, including its deputy health minister.