A group of people wait for the arrival of their relatives at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta on Saturday after two-week quarantine on Natuna Island. Indonesian authorities puts 285 citizens of mostly returnees from China under quarantine for coronavirus scare. (Antara Photo/M Risyal Hidayat)
Returnees From Wuhan Leave Quarantine Island Healthy
BY :THE JAKARTA GLOBE
FEBRUARY 16, 2020
Jakarta. Hundreds of Indonesians of mostly returnees from the Chinese city of Wuhan left the Natuna Island after completing two-week quarantine on Saturday, with all being declared as free from coronavirus.
Three Air Force planes transported the 285 quarantine participants to Jakarta’s Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in the afternoon.
They included 238 returnees from China, five embassy officials and 42 evacuation team members comprising cabin crews and medical staffs who have accompanied their flight from China two weeks ago.
Every passenger carried a small red and white flag and shared joy with colleagues and journalists at the Air Force base in Natuna, Riau Islands province, before boarding to the plane.
“Everyone is happy and healthy. I can feel their emotion and that really moves me,” Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto told reporters at the Natuna airport.
“They have been waiting impatiently for this date, Feb. 15 at noon, when they finally were allowed to remove their face masks,” he said.
The presidential palace expressed gratitude to Natuna islanders for allowing the central government to impose quarantine on the island.
“We thank all the Natuna residents and extend our respect for becoming the host to their 285 compatriots who have undergone group observation since arriving from Hubei province, China, until their home flights today,” Fadjroel Rachman, a spokesman for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said in statement.
“Let’s welcome them with open arms and help their return to social lives. We stand together to face these difficult times and hopefully the coronavirus outbreak will come to an end soon,” he said.