Health Ministry proposes temporary ban on Indian citizens entering Indonesia


JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) has proposed a temporary ban on foreign nationals (WNA) from India entering Indonesia.

Head of the Health Quarantine Sub-Directorate of the Health Ministry's Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P), Benget Saragih, said this needed to be done following a surge in Covid-19 cases in India.

“The Ministry of Health has proposed temporarily denying (Indian citizens) entry to Indonesia as the virus is very contagious and very dangerous in India,” Benget said when contacted by Kompas.com on Friday (04/23/2021).

Also read: Ministry of Health: 9 Indian citizens tested positive for Covid-19 and are in hotel isolation

Benget said his party has also proposed extending the quarantine period for travelers from India, both Indonesian citizens and foreigners, to 14 days.

“For foreigners or Indonesian citizens who have visited India in transit, for example, we carry out a 14-day quarantine, so it is even stricter,” he said.

Benget said the government is currently discussing plans to temporarily ban foreigners from India from entering Indonesia.

However, he cannot confirm when the government will officially announce a temporary ban on foreigners entering Indonesia from India.

“Perhaps the Secretary of State will announce this information, but we don't know for sure,” he said.

Previously, according to Benget, up to 127 foreigners from India had entered Indonesia on charter planes via Soekarno-Hatta Airport by Friday (23/2021).

Also read: 127 Indian nationals enter Indonesia amid surge in Covid-19 cases

The hundreds of foreigners from India are mostly housewives and children who have a temporary residence permit (daycare).

Benget said his party carried out surveillance and tightening by conducting Covid-19 tests using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method and conducting a five-day hotel quarantine.

“Even though they brought negative results from abroad, we conducted PCR swab tests yesterday at a hotel, Ibis Tamarin Hotel. 67 people were accommodated there, nine were positive and we evacuated and isolated them,” he said.

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