TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government has tapped Sebaru Island as the new quarantine camp for Indonesian nationals trapped in the World Dream cruise ship due to the coronavirus or COVID-19. Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said Sebaru, which is located in the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu) regency, was a deserted islet.
“It’s an uninhabited islet, I will provide its latitude coordinates later,” said Terawan after meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the State Palace, Jakarta, Monday, February 24.
The government decided to use the islet considering its safe location and zero potential of spreading the deadly virus. “Hopefully, all the evacuees can pass the quarantine period well and healthily,” Terawan added.
Based on the Health Ministry's data, at least 270 Indonesians stranded in the World Dream cruise ship previously sailed in the international sea near Bintan, Riau, after being turned away by many countries to dock, including Indonesia, over coronavirus fears.
Today, February 24, the government decided to evacuate Indonesian citizens who were crew members of the cruise ship by sailing naval ship (KRI) Suharso.
“We use a ship [to evacuate them] so if there is a case, it will not spread to the land areas,” Minister Terawan underlined, adding that such a medical issue must be considered thoroughly, instead of emotionally. “For the sake of the safety of the nation and the country, because we are still in the green zone.”