President holds meeting following evacuation of Indonesians from China

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo held a limited meeting at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force Base in Jakarta on Sunday with a number of Cabinet Ministers and National Police and National Military Chiefs, following the evacuation of 238 Indonesians and five members of an advance team from China's Hubei Province.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a press conference following the meeting that the Indonesian Government will temporarily ban direct flights from and to Mainland China. The policy will take effect at 00.00 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

All visitors coming in from Mainland China, who had been there for 14 days are also temporarily banned from entering or having a transit in Indonesia, the Foreign Minister said.

The government is also stopping the visa-free policy and issuance of visa on arrival towards Chinese nationals residing in Mainland China for the time being. Indonesian nationals are asked to not to travel to Mainland China.

The limited meeting came after the government airlifted 243 Indonesian nationals, including five members of an advance team, from Wuhan, and have them returned to the country.

They have arrived in Natuna and will undergo a 14-day observation period, joined by 42 personnel of the evacuation team.

"A total of 285 people will undergo observations. Up until now, Alhamdulillah (thank God), everyone is in healthy conditions," Marsudi stated.

She further said that the Ministry of Health team will establish an office in Natuna, where the Health Minister's spokesperson will actively provide updates from the grounds.

The limited meeting, led by President Joko Widodo, was attended by a number of cabinet officials, including Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi. National Military Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police Force Chief Police General Idham Aziz also attended the meeting.

The Indonesian government have successfully evacuated 243 Indonesian nationals, including five members of an advance team, from China's Hubei Province, on Sunday, by using a Batik Air Airbus 330-300CEO wide-bodied aircraft belonging to Lion Air Group.

The evacuees and members of the team landed in Batam's Hang Nadim Airport in Riau Islands on Sunday morning for transit, during which they were transferred to another aircraft. They then departed to Natuna by boarding Hercules A-1315, Boeing AI 7304 and Boeing A 7306.

They are due to be quarantined in Natuna for 14 days before returning to their families.

Source: ANTARA News

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