Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Sending Coronavirus Evacuees Home Costs Rp12bn, BNPB Reveals

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • A number of Indonesians who are evacuated from Wuhan, Hubei, China, prepare to do an exercise with Indonesian soldiers on their 13th day at the hangar of Raden Sadjad Air Force Base in Ranai, Natuna, Riau Islands, Friday, February 14, 2020. ANTARA

    A number of Indonesians who are evacuated from Wuhan, Hubei, China, prepare to do an exercise with Indonesian soldiers on their 13th day at the hangar of Raden Sadjad Air Force Base in Ranai, Natuna, Riau Islands, Friday, February 14, 2020. ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) estimated that his side required a budget of Rp12 billion to send home 238 people evacuated from Wuhan, China, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The fund was used for various purposes until they reached their respective residences.

    “The cost may reach Rp12 billion,” said the agency's spokesperson, Agus Wibowo, to Tempo on Friday, February 14.

    According to Agus, BNPB played a significant role in returning the evacuees, who were put under quarantine in Natuna, Riau Islands. On Saturday, February 15, after the observation period ends, they will be airlifted to Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta.

    Agus reiterated that the budget would be used for their transportation, logistics, tickets, and pocket money. “We have used Rp3 billion, and the rest Rp4 billion is being disbursed,” Agus added.

    Meanwhile, the Health Ministry will be responsible for ensuring the health of the evacuees, and the Home Affairs Ministry will coordinate all local administrations to pick them up upon their arrival in Jakarta.

    As widely reported, a total of 237 Indonesian citizens and one foreigner (the spouse of a citizen) were evacuated from Hubei province and arrived in Natuna on February 2, 2020. They were quarantined for 14 days, complying with the standard procedure of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Earlier today, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ensured that all quarantined evacuees are healthy or uninfected with the coronavirus and ready to return to their families.

    EGI ADYATAMA