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Indonesia: Firm quarantines 3,000 Chinese workers amid fears of coronavirus spread

“Firm Quarantines 3,000 Chinese Workers at Indonesian Plant over Coronavirus Fears”, 28 January 2020

A Chinese-controlled firm said… it had quarantined all 3,000 of its Chinese employees who work at an industrial complex in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, amid fears that the new coronavirus could spread here after hundreds of new workers arrived from China…

The workers at the plant in Morowali regency were being monitored for any signs of infection, said Dedy Kurniawan, a spokesman for the Chinese-owned company, the PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP). China’s Tsingshan Holding Group holds the majority stake in the park, which produces nickel and stainless steel.

“When the news of the outbreak came to the fore, the management immediately implemented strict procedures,” Dedy told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

“To facilitate the examinations, 3,000 foreign workers have been quarantined. If they are found to be free from the virus, they will be released from the quarantine,” he said, adding that so far, no one was found to be infected.

Dedy said the move followed the arrival of 600 workers from China… including 15 from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in China, considered ground zero for the virus. The quarantine began on Jan. 25, the same day the company announced a temporary freeze on bringing workers from China.

Production continues despite the quarantine of the Chinese workers who are housed in dormitories on the campus of the industrial park…

While the government so far has confirmed no cases of the coronavirus in Indonesia, Central Sulawesi health chief Reny Lamadjido said her department was in touch with IMIP officials and that two local hospitals were ready to treat patients in case of an outbreak.

“Because there are thousands of foreign workers, the majority of whom are from China, the area is our focus. But we are also on alert in other places,” Reny told BenarNews…