TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The deputy chair of the House’s Commission IX overseeing health, Melki Laka Lena, has suggested the government use a ship to evacuate the 74 Indonesian crewmembers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan.
Melki said the 20-day traveling time by sea could serve as an additional time to observe the crew if they had contracted the coronavirus.
“The traveling time of approximately 20 days is in line with the observation period necessary to make sure that all the Indonesians are healthy, which is also in accordance with the protocol for the Wuhan evacuees in Natuna,” Melki told Tempo on Friday, February 21, 2020.
Melki said the government must abide by the World Health Organization (WHO) procedures and keep Indonesia’s green status on the coronavirus outbreak. He added the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the country’s economy was huge.
“The impact on the economy was far more enormous, and we have seen that this is what the Health Ministry has been dealing with. Prevent, detect and take the necessary action against the possible spread of the coronavirus in the country, so that until now there has been no confirmed COVID-19 case,” the Golkar Party politician said.
Earlier, the Health Ministry said there were two options to evacuate the Indonesians onboard the Diamond Princess: by ship or aircraft. The secretary of the Directorate-General of Disease Control and Prevention of the Health Ministry, Achmad Yurianto, said the President has the final say on this matter.
Evacuation by sea will be carried out using Naval Warship (KRI) Soeharso, a hospital assistance ship, while that by air will be done with a Boeing-737 Garuda Indonesia airplane.
Reporter: Budiarti Utami Putri | Translator: Galuh Kurnia Ramadhani (Intern Translator)