TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto confirmed that the number of Indonesian nationals infected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 on board of the Diamond Princess cruise ship increased to nine people.
“They are under medical treatment by the Japanese authorities,” said Terawan at the Presidential Palace Complex in Central Jakarta, Monday, February 24.
Terawan ensured that those people received adequate care in Japanese hospitals.
Despite the hike in the victims’ number, the government has not yet decided on the option to evacuate Indonesians who are crew members of the cruise ship that currently docked in Yokohama Port, Japan. Discussions on the evacuation plan with Japanese authorities are still afoot. A total of 74 Indonesian nationals were reportedly stranded on the ship.
Terawan admitted that the Japanese government demanded Indonesia carry out an immediate evacuation by plane. “They order so, but we are still negotiating it,” he added.
When asked whether the government was negotiating to evacuate the Indonesians by ship, Terawan balked at providing a clear answer. “We negotiate for the best, just stay calm.”
The government, he added, was striving to keep 264 million of Indonesians safe from the coronavirus, while caring for those aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. Thus, the government was being conscientious to make sure the evacuation would proceed as planned.
“We are being careful. Our country is being extra careful and abide by the rules set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and we will apply them in an orderly and strict manner,” Terawan concluded.