Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia During a Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on the Handling of the Influx of Indonesian Citizens Returning from Overseas and Cross-border Restriction on Foreigners, 31 March 2020 at Bogor Presidential Palace
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all.
Distinguished Vice President,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
As we may be aware, today more than 202 countries and territories across the globe are facing covid-19 threats, including Indonesia. During the past week alone, we have seen that the epicenter of the covid-19 had shifted from China to the United States and European countries.
Some countries that had succesfully flattened their covid-19 curve are now encountering new challenges called a “new wave” of covid-19. China, South Korea, and Singapore are now experiencing imported cases. Therefore, our current priority is not only to control mobility of people between the regions at home, but also mobility of people from overseas which may pose a risk to bring the imported cases.
First, Indonesian citizens returning from overseas, particularly from neighboring Malaysia, should be heavily observed, given that hundred thousands or even millions of Indonesian citizens may return home. I received a report saying that every day around three thousand Indonesian migrant workers return home from Malaysia. Other than migrant workers returning from Malaysia, we should also anticipate the homecoming of approximately 10,000 – 11,000 ship crew members. We need to prepare how to screen them.
Next, the shifting of covid-19 epicenter to the United States and Europe. We need to tighten policies which regulate foreigners crossing into Indonesian territories.
Regarding the arrival of Indonesian citizens returning from overseas, our priority is how to protect their health as well as the health of the people in the country. Thus, once again I would like to underline that stringent health protocols must be imposed in airports, seaports and cross-border posts.
For those who show no covid-19 symptoms, they may return to their hometown with person-under-monitoring status. They must carry out self-isolation protocol at home. The Government is also considering preparing social assistance. Meanwhile for those who have covid-19 symptoms, they must be isolated at the designated hospital, such as the one in Galang Island, Riau Islands.
Regarding the crossing of foreigners to Indonesia, I call for a regular evaluation on the related policies to anticipate the spread of covid-19 from various countries in the world.
That concludes my remarks.
Translated by : Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by : Muhardi