As many 188 Indonesian crew members of World Dream cruise ship have been evacuated by a naval hospital ship. Then, the Indonesian government will send them to an uninhabited island near Jakarta for coronavirus observation. This was told by health officials on Tuesday.
According to Achmad Yurianto, secretary-general of the Health Ministry’s disease control and environmental health directorate, the crew members have passed medical checkups by Hong Kong authorities. It means none of the Indonesian crew members has symptoms typical of Covid-19 since medical checkups in Hong Kong was conducted on Feb. 5-9 for 14 days of coronavirus incubation. Even so, the Indonesian government requires them to join group observation for another 14 days. This was decided to sure they are free from the highly contagious virus. He said this in a video conference with journalists gathering at the Health Ministry compound in Jakarta.
Previously, World Dream cruise liner dropped anchor in Riau, and the Dr. Soeharso hospital ship has departed to Durian Strait off that province. The estimated time of arrival is around 10.00 a.m. on Wednesday, he said.
After the transfer from the cruise ship, the 188 crew members will be transported to Sebaru Island in Jakarta’s Thousand Island district. They are expected to arrive at the island at around 03.00 a.m. on Friday, he said.
All of them will undergo initial checkups once they onboard the hospital ship. Doctors will take specimens for laboratory tests.
Actually there are around 270 Indonesian crew members in the cruise ship, but Yurianto said only 188 agreed to join the observation on the island. The rest have chosen to stay at the ship to continue the trip to Seattle, the United States, he said.
To conduct quarantine for these 188 Indonesians, Sebaru Island was choosen for the place of coronavirus observation. In the past, this place used to be a rehabilitation facility for drug users. The facility has clinics, bedrooms, kitchens and air-conditioning machines.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said the government plans to quarantine 74 Indonesian crew members of Diamond Princess cruise ship on the island too. But, the government still in negotiations with Japanese authorities, and it has not been concluded.
The evacuation of Diamond Princess crew members is different with World Dream, and it will be a riskier mission because many of its passengers and crew members have been infected with coronavirus. Also, there are four Indonesians now being treated at separate hospitals in Japan.