TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said that the government will only bring home 68 from a total of 78 Indonesian crews on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Meanwhile, eight people could not be evacuated because they tested positive for contracting the virus.
Until yesterday, from a total of 78 Indonesian crews, nine were declared positive for contracting the virus. But out of 9 cases, one has been declared negative. "So the positive is only 8," Retno said at the Office of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture in Central Jakarta, Thursday, February 27, 2020.
According to the minister, two of 70 people who declared negative for the virus were refused to be evacuated. Based on the information gathered from the company, they chose to stay as this evacuation is voluntary. "If our citizens decide to stay, we cannot force them to be evacuated," said Retno.
The government decided to use aircraft to evacuate them from the Diamond Princess docking in Yokohama to Sebaru Island, Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu), to undergo observation.
Even so, Retno said the evacuation plan and the number of evacuees were still tentative. "There could be a change [of plan] until the evacuation time," she remarked.