Indonesia to Fetch Home Diamond Princess Crew This Week

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Laila Afifa

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  • A U.S. health official in a protective suit standing in front of a portable bio-containment unit speaks to U.S. passengers who have chosen to leave the Diamond Princess cruise ship, on a chartered evacuation aircraft to fly back to the United States, at Haneda airport in Japan February 17, 2020. Hundreds of passengers were preparing to be evacuated from a cruise ship on Sunday after spending two weeks under quarantine off Japan over the coronavirus, with Americans flying home on chartered evacuation planes early Monday morning. Courtesy of Philip and Gay Courter/via REUTERS

    A U.S. health official in a protective suit standing in front of a portable bio-containment unit speaks to U.S. passengers who have chosen to leave the Diamond Princess cruise ship, on a chartered evacuation aircraft to fly back to the United States, at Haneda airport in Japan February 17, 2020. Hundreds of passengers were preparing to be evacuated from a cruise ship on Sunday after spending two weeks under quarantine off Japan over the coronavirus, with Americans flying home on chartered evacuation planes early Monday morning. Courtesy of Philip and Gay Courter/via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government will be picking up Indonesian nationals who work on board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship in the next day or two. It was decided that the crew will be evacuated from Japan on an airplane.

    "We are now waiting for a flight slot, no later than one to two days. The aircraft has been prepared; a wide-body. We will decide on the airline later—that's easy," Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta on Thursday, February 27.

    Terawan said, the government is negotiating with Japan to get a flight slot. "In anyway, we will immediately evacuate them," he said.

    The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been placed under quarantine since early February, after it was informed that a passenger on board was tested positive with the coronavirus. There were 78 Indonesians who are crew members of the ship that now docks at Yokohama. Eight of them have tested positive with the COVID-19 and are now treated at a hospital in Chiba Prefecture. They will not be evacuated.

    Two crew members who have tested negative declined to leave Japan. And so, only 68 crew members will be repatriated to Indonesia.

    "The two people who did not want to leave said they are in good health," Terawan said. 

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