Komodo Airport is Officially Closed due to Covid-19 Outbreak - Congkasae.com

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25 March, 2020

Komodo Airport is Officially Closed due to Covid-19 Outbreak

Komodo Airport, Credit Congkasae.com

The West Manggarai Regency Government finally adopted a policy to close operations at the airport and passenger ship port in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai.

The decision was taken by the West Manggarai government authority following the surge in the number of Monitoring Persons (ODP) Covid-19 in the district which increased by 31 people from the previous number of only 7 people.

 "This is the most crucial decision we made, for reasons of humanitarian considerations," West Manggarai Deputy Regent Maria Geong told reporters when giving a press conference in Labuan Bajo on Wednesday afternoon.

Maria said, the government of West Manggarai had sent a letter to the Indonesian government in this case the ministry of transportation related to the intended policy.

He reasoned that the policy making was carried out after the West Manggarai regency government considered the impact of the possible risks if the airport and port as passenger entrances from areas exposed to the virus continued to operate.

 "You can imagine whether the airport and the port are still operating and no anticipatory steps are taken, coming from outside, especially from areas exposed to the virus and then going to the village and he (that person) will be the main source of the spread of the virus in villages far away with health facilities," Maria Geong told reporters.

In addition, said Maria Geong, the closure of the airport and the port was also taken after the government saw the readiness of personnel and health facilities in West Manggarai district called Maria, not yet adequate.

"Our health facilities are still very minimal, in the midst of this situation is a new disease and many of our people do not understand the dangers of this disease," Geong added.

In a letter signed by West Manggarai regent Maria Geong, the West Manggarai regency said that the operation of the Komodo Airport and the passenger port in Labuan Bajo would be officially closed temporarily.

The closure will take effect from Thursday, March 26  until April 3. The decision to close the airport and the port was taken as an anticipatory step for the entry of people who were exposed to the Corona virus into the Western Flores region.

"Once again this is a very impactful policy, we know that there is almost no dividing curtain between West Manggarai regency and other regencies in mainland Flores," added Maria Geong.

Previously it was rumored that there was a Patient in Monitoring (PDP) Covid-19 who died at the Komodo Regional Hospital who was referred from Ben Mboi Ruteng Hospital on Tuesday.

However, the East Nusa Tenggara Regional Secretariat Marius Ardu Jelamu denied the news and mentioned the death of 'S' patients suspected of being exposed to Corona due to other diseases and not because of Corona.

While at the General Hospital dr. Ben Mboi Ruteng, a number of health workers were forced to use a raincoat as a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to the lack of health facilities, especially related to the Covid-19 case.

Regarding the readiness of medical devices in the Komodo hospital in Labua Bajo which was designated as a referral hospital for Corona patients, Vice Regent Maria said that so far her party was still making reservations for PPE.

"It's still in order, we know the messages from all over Indonesia, and we don't know when the tools will come, so we do what we can do now, one of them is closing the airport and port as anticipatory measures," concluded Maria Geong .

Author: Antonius Rahu

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