Indonesian citizens who are in the province of Hubei in China will soon be evacuated as Beijing says it is ready to aid the move.
Officials have provided no specific timeline but said all preparations were ready for when the time came.
“President Joko Widodo has instructed several ministers to immediately evacuate Indonesian citizens from Hubei province,” said Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi.
Retno claimed that Indonesia has been intensely coordinating details with the Chinese authorities in order to bring home Indonesians amid the isolation period. The government suspects a higher number of Indonesians are trapped in Hubei due to not reporting their whereabouts, and there are 243 Indonesians who have already been identified.
Furthermore, plans to move Indonesians from seven locations in Hubei are being finalized, such as determining a pick-up point at the Wuhan airport and gathering a team from the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing to help execute
the operation. Records of Indonesian citizens in the province are constantly being updated by the embassy to allow for a swift evacuation as soon as officials have a complete list of expected evacuees.
Retno claimed that she’s been in contact with Australia – since Australia also plans to evacuate its citizens from Hubei – as well as the United States and Japan; both countries have flown their citizens out of Hubei.
“We need to learn from each other about how to evacuate our citizens as soon as possible,” Retno said, adding that evacuations were not simple and that the government needed to look into the distribution of Indonesians of Hubei and how to transport them amid the isolation.
The Air Force is keeping three aircraft and health personnel on standby to fly the Indonesians out of Hubei once the government gives the green light for the operation. Meanwhile, Sulianto Saroso Infection Hospital in Sunter, North Jakarta has been designated as a quarantine facility to observe the evacuees once they arrive in Indonesia.
All responsibility is being taken charge of by the Health Ministry and other relevant authorities. Indonesia has two options: moving its citizens from Hubei to safer areas within China or bringing them back and quarantining them.
The number of confirmed infections in China had grown steadily to 7,711, the National Health Commission said. Another 81,000 people were under observation for possible infection.
The World Health Organisation has urged all governments to be “on alert” as it weighs whether to declare a global health emergency, which could lead to travel or trade restrictions.
Source: The Jakarta Post
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