Indonesia is preparing to bring home 74 Indonesian crew members aboard the Diamond Princess anchored off the Port of Yokohama, as the number of Indonesian crew members infected with the coronavirus on the ill-fated cruise ship has risen to four.
On Tuesday, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that three Indonesian crew members had tested positive for COVID-19. Today, the government confirmed that another crew member tested positive for the deadly disease. The four Indonesian COVID-19 patients are being treated at two separate facilities in Japan.
Speaking to reporters today, President Joko Widodo said the government is formulating a plan to repatriate the 74 crew members who tested negative for the coronavirus.
“Right now, the 74 are still on the ship and we are discussing it with the Japanese authorities,” Jokowi said, as quoted by Kompas.
Japan yesterday announced 79 more positive cases aboard the Diamond Princess, bringing the total number of infected to at least 621 – nearly one in five of its roughly 3,700 passengers and crew. Two elderly Japanese passengers, both of whom had pre-existing medical conditions and tested positive for the coronavirus aboard the ship, reportedly died today.
Indonesia previously repatriated 238 citizens from Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — and placed them under quarantine for 14 days on Natuna Island. They were all declared coronavirus-free and were allowed to return to their respective hometowns.
The four crew members are the only known Indonesians to currently have the disease. An Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore — the first Indonesian to test positive for the virus — has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.
COVID-19 has infected more than 70,000 people in China and killed at least 2,000 people there. While its neighbors are struggling with the outbreak, Indonesia has yet to confirm a single positive case on its soil.