Three planes to carry Indonesians home from Wuhan

Chief of the Operations Division of the Hang Nadim Airbase Major Lek Wardoyo (ANTARA)

Chief of the Operations Division of the Hang Nadim Airbase Major Lek Wardoyo (ANTARA)

Batam, Riau Islands: The Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) is preparing three planes to carry Indonesians who have just arrived at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam Island from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where they will be flown to Raden Sadjad Airport in Natuna Islands where they will be quarantined.

“In line with directives from the air force chief of staff and the National Defense Forces (TNI) chief to follow up on the president’s order, TNI AU will ready two Boeing planes and one Hercules plane to help evacuate the Indonesians who have just returned from Wuhan,” Chief of the Operations Division of the Hang Nadim Airbase Major Lek Wardoyo said, quoted by Indonesia’s news agency ANTARA.

All the Indonesians returning from Wuhan will transit at Hang Nadim Airport before continuing their flight to Natuna aboard TNI AU planes, he added.

The Hercules plane has a seating capacity of up to 130 people, while the Boeing planes have room for 100 people each. The planes will be staffed with medical workers, Wardoyo said.

He added that the Indonesians will be flown to Natuna aboard the three planes, shortly after arriving from Wuhan.

It takes one hour 20 minutes to fly from Batam to Natuna, he said.

Asked when the aircraft carrying Indonesians from Wuhan will arrive, he said he still has to await information from Jakarta.

Chief of the Batam Port Health Office, I Achmad Farchanny, said it will take a maximum of one hour for the Indonesians to change flights at Hang Nadim Airport.

“We will try to do it as quickly as possible, one hour at the most,” he said.

According to ANTARA, all the passengers from Wuhan will have their temperatures and health checked aboard the plane carrying them from Wuhan, he said.

If any passengers are showing symptoms of coronavirus, they will be isolated from the others.

The government has assigned Embung Fatimah Regional General Hospital to be a referral hospital to treat patients infected with coronavirus.

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