On Monday, September 7, the Malaysian Government imposed a ban on Indonesian citizens holding Long Term Passes from entering their country.
The Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the entry ban on Tuesday, 1 September, and took effect yesterday.
Not only Indonesia, India and the Philippines are also prohibited from entering Malaysia. The two countries are also known to have not been able to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Malaysia is one of 59 countries that prohibit Indonesian citizens from entering the country. This prohibition is related to the high number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia.
Not only that, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DC) United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a Level 3 warning for US citizens planning to visit Indonesia.
Warning level 3 based on information on the official CDC website, people are asked to avoid traveling to Indonesia unless it is an urgent need. The warning applies to all US citizens.
The CDC considers that if a US citizen is infected with COVID-19 in Indonesia, the health services that can be accessed will be very limited.
As of Monday, September 7, the total number of corona cases in Indonesia reached 196,989 people, 140,652 recovered, and 8,130 patients died.
Responding to the ban, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said this was the right of the local government.
Retno also said that the Indonesian government had implemented a similar policy, namely limiting public access for foreign citizens to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
“We also urge Indonesian citizens not to travel abroad except for urgent needs,” said Retno, Friday, September 4.
Hungary, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, and South Africa are countries that also limit visits from Indonesia. Indonesian Ambassador to Hungary Abdurachman Hudiono Dimas Wahab said the ban had been relaxed in August on the condition that two PCR tests were carried out. However, starting in September, the ban has been tightened.
Indonesia has tried to lobby countries that impose entry bans to loosen up its rules. However, many countries refuse or cannot provide certainty. This is due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia and some countries doubting the government’s ability to deal with the outbreak.