Citizens from Australia and New Zealand are reportedly asking for assistance to be immediately repatriated from Indonesia.
Citing the New Zealand media portal, Stuff, several citizens have said that they are currently in an alarming condition and that Indonesia’s COVID-19 situation is like a rollercoaster that has no end.
“We aren’t afraid to be here because of COVID-19. We’re afraid of what officials will do to us and how we can continue to feed our families,” said a New Zealand citizen in Indonesia who uses the pseudonym Harriot, as quoted on Monday 26th July.
Harriot added that his family and several other New Zealanders were in the same situation and feel as if they were being forced by the government to “do it alone“.
The same ordeal is being experienced by Australians. They are reportedly currently requesting that Canberra hold a repatriation flight given the situation and the closure of flights from Indonesia to Australia.
Stranded Australians want the Morrison government to help take them home from Indonesia, where commercial flight options are very limited and the pandemic is weighing on fragile health systems and hospitals, the Australian Financial Review wrote.
There has been no confirmation from the two embassies regarding this matter as yet. However, from a search on the Australian Embassy’s official website, the government has asked residents who are having difficulty returning from Indonesia to register on the recommended site.
Meanwhile, the Immigration Class I Special Immigration Checkpoints (TPI) Soekarno-Hatta Airport noted that there have been around 16,790 foreigners who have left Indonesia through the airport since 1st July.
Head of Immigration Information and Communication Technology at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Sam Fernando explained that these foreigners came from various countries.
Japan is the country with the largest number of citizens who have left, with 2,387 people leaving Indonesia. Next, 2,056 people from China have left and 1,537 people from South Korea have gone home. The numbers of citizens from other countries who have left during July are:
- 1,280 people from the United States
- 794 people from France
- 664 people from the United Kingdom
- 644 people from Russia
- 563 people from Germany
- 475 people from the Netherlands
- 455 people from Saudi Arabia
- 449 people from India
- 353 people from the Philippines
- 207 people from Thailand
- 295 people from Malaysia
- 112 people from Singapore
However, Sam did not give any information about the reason behind these foreigners leaving the country nor did he explain whether the foreigners used flights with chartered planes or not.
According to CNBC Indonesia, several countries have asked their citizens to return home in regards to the increased COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Japanese Embassy in Jakarta said that so far around 2,000 Japanese citizens want to return home because of the head office’s instructions. The Japanese government facilitated the repatriation by preparing a special plane.
Meanwhile, around 80 South Korean citizens were repatriated last week with the condition that they were infected with the coronavirus. Citizens of Taiwan and Vietnam also did the same thing.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the Home Affairs Ministry of Saudi Arabia asked its citizens to return home. This was conveyed in the country’s latest announcement, which prohibits citizens from going to Indonesia.
Indonesia itself is listed as the fourth country with the most COVID-19 cases in Asia. According to Worldometers data as of Tuesday, Indonesia has had a total of more than 3.1 million cases of infection and more than 84,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.