TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said that the negotiation with the Japanese government for the evacuation of 69 Indonesian citizens who are trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship was still afoot. He admitted that it was not simple diplomacy.
"It's not that easy. But we are trying as fast as possible [to complete] the negotiation," said the President at the Jakarta Convention Center, Central Jakarta on Thursday, February 26, 2020.
However, the President did not provide further details on the obstacles during the negotiation process and will let the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy handle the issue.
Jokowi added that the government was carrying out the evacuations in the wake of the coronavirus one by one, calling on all parties to be patient.
The government is prioritizing the evacuation of 188 Indonesians on the World Dream cruise ship who would be taken to Sebaru Island, Thousand Islands to undergo quarantine.
"[Indonesians on World Dream] have not arrived yet at Sebaru Island. Later, after their arrivals, we will focus on preparing the evacuation of those [on Diamond Princess]," Jokowi underlined.
As of date, Indonesian citizens trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were still waiting to be evacuated. As previously reported, 9 out of 78 Indonesian crews aboard are tested positive for the novel coronavirus and are treated at a hospital in Yokohama, where the ship currently docks. The nine people certainly could not be evacuated because of their conditions.