Indonesia awaits WHO recommendation of imposing travel alert to China

Jakarta Indonesia has not imposed a travel warning to China, pending the World Health Organization's (WHO's) issuance of travel alert to the country over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi stated here, Tuesday.

"Later, if the WHO has recommended something, we, along with the health minister and foreign minister, will discuss other possibilities," he stated in response to a question raised by the chairman of the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission V overseeing infrastructure and transportation at a plenary session for evaluating the handling of transportation infrastructure and facilities during the recent Christmas and New Year holiday seasons.

Despite the absence of a travel warning to China, the Indonesian government has temporarily shut down access of flights from and to Wuhan City, the epicenter of this deadly coronavirus, in an endeavor to halt the spread of the virus that has, until now, claimed 106 lives in China.

"We have coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Health Ministry in addressing the coronavirus issues. At this point in time, we have closed down to and from flights between Indonesia and Wuhan," he revealed.

In halting the spread of this virus, precautionary measures have been taken at Indonesia's airports and seaports. International passengers, recently arriving at the Indonesian seaports and airports, will undergo thorough examination by being subject to thermal scanning.

The Transportation Ministry had also met with representatives of the seaport and airport operators over the need to conduct public awareness campaigns and the importance of wearing masks, he noted.

Chinese authorities declared the first case of coronavirus after a person with pneumonia was hospitalized in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, according to an official statement of the WHO. Over the past weeks, people, with symptoms of pneumonia and reported travel history to Wuhan, had been identified at international airports.

This novel coronavirus has, so far, claimed at least 106 lives in China, while several other countries, including the United States and Canada, have announced their confirmed cases.

However, none of the confirmed cases were found in Indonesia. Apart from this reality, since the issuance of an official statement by the WHO on the coronavirus outbreak in China, the Indonesian government has remained on alert.

As part of its precautionary measures, thermal scanners have been installed at various airports around the archipelago for screening international passengers. The thermal scanners are aimed at detecting any foreign tourists symptomatic with this novel coronavirus.

Source: Antara News

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