Riau Overwhelmed by Arrivals of 3000 Migrant Workers Daily



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Riau Thousands of Indonesian migrant workers from Malaysia landed in Riau Islands after Malaysia was put on lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

    Riau Island administration spokesman noted in a written statement on Sunday, March 29 that it recorded 3,000 arrivals per day. The workers did not only depart from Malaysia but also Singapore, and the number was subject to increase.

    The Acting Governor of Riau Island Isdianto said his administration was worried this would cause negative impacts on residents. Besides, the residents were becoming restless by the virus outbreak.

    Isdianto then called on all governors not to enforce local lockdown since many migrant workers entering the island hailed from regions planning to put on isolation.

    “If other regions impose lockdown, thousands of workers will pack Riau Island. This will be troublesome for us. To be blunt, we are already overwhelmed just by taking care of our residents,” Isdianto said.

    He made the statement during a meeting via video conference with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. “So we ask Pak Minister to solve this problem,” he added.

    Since March 18, Riau Island Health Agency has recorded the arrivals of over 5,000 migrant workers to date. One of them was classified as a patient under monitoring (PDP) and was being isolated in Tanjungpinang. Hundreds of others were placed in quarantine in Tanjungpinang, with several of them having fever and mild flu.

    “If they show severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, we take them to the isolation room,” said Rustam, the head of Tanjungpinang Health Agency.