Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Dubai on Thursday released travel guidelines to the Southeast Asian archipelago amidst the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) which is altering global lifestyle and trends.
The consular mission received the travel guidelines, to take effect beginning Mar. 8 (Sunday), from Jakarta’s Office of Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, “conveying the development of the Indonesian Government’s policies following the outbreak of COVID-19 in other countries.
The communique forwarded to Gulf Today stipulated “restrictions on entry and transit for travellers who, in the past 14 days have travelled to areas/countries affected by COVID-19.”
These controls are applicable even to Indonesian citizens who “will (have to) go through a series of additional health checks at the arrival airport.”
These controls will be updated in accordance with the developments on the COVID-19.
By far, prohibited to enter Indonesia are the travellers in the past 14 days to Tehran, Qom and Gilan in Iran; Lombardi, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Piedmont in Italy; and Daegu City and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province in South Korea.
These specific areas in the identified countries have been reported to have spiked incidences of COVID-19.
According to the Mar. 5 data of the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of COVID-19 cases from 87 countries and the Diamond Princess were at 96,951 with 3,310 deaths, 39,660 currently infected, and 53,981 recovered and discharged. The Mar.3 data, covering 77 nations and the Diamond Princess showed 92,235 cases, 40,668 currently infected, and 48,437 recovered and discharged.
On Mar.5, Indonesia registered two “active” cases, South Korea had 6,088 with 5,913 “active” cases; Iran, 3,513 with 2,667 “active” cases; and Italy, 3,089 with 2,706 “active” cases.
From the Jakarta official correspondence on travel guidelines, those who have gone to other parts of Iran, Italy and South Korea “must secure a valid health certificate for their trip to Indonesia, issued by the health authority in the country of origin.”
“Before landing, travellers from the three aforementioned countries must fill out a health card alert prepared by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia.”
The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai also emailed to this reporter how Seoul is “managing the outflow of (the) virus,” in strict adherence to WHO protocols and amidst the advanced medical facilities and expertise in the country.
“Our government is undertaking all possible measures to track and test those who had been in close contact with confirmed cases, even deploying police resources if necessary to utilise phone data and CCTV footage.”
The correspondence also stated: “Our government is focusing on the speedy recovery of those infected with COVID-19 through advanced medical care. The mortality rate of COVID-19 in Korea is among the lowest in countries with more than a hundred confirmed cases.”
The correspondence traced the origin of the outbreak dating “early February (which rapidly) spread among the members of the Shincheonji Church in Daegu.”
“As of Mar.3, 56.1 per cent of the confirmed cases are linked to the Shincheonji Church and 89 per cent are residents in Daegu/North Gyeonsang Province.”
The correspondence ended: “It is contrary to reason and scientific evidence to impose entry restrictions against travellers from Korea solely on the basis of the number of confirmed cases when there is a vast difference in the robustness of the diagnostic capabilities and the transparency with which governments have dealt with the disease. On both accounts, Korea has maintained the highest standard by far.” Separately, the World Bank Group is making available an initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak. This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19.
The government has also introduced a Pass Track Application that all travellers will be required to install in their mobile phones. A health declaration form is also required to be filled 48 hours before arriving in the country.
All residents and inbound tourists will have to undergo a PCR test prior to departure for Dubai.
12 per cent of cases and infections during the past two weeks were discovered in individuals coming from outside the UAE, despite having negative results in their country of departure
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