Jakarta: Indonesian Minister of Health (Menkes), Terawan Agus Putranto said the news or hoaxes related to the coronavirus endangers the Indonesian situation. Moreover, viral information circulating on social media does not match the facts that occur in the field.
"Compared to the virus, the information is more dangerous, especially the hoaxes that are circulating," Terawan said in Jakarta on Monday, February 3, 2020.
Terawan exemplified the worst hoax about the coronavirus was the one that said four people died, however that turned out to be just a simulation. He is worried that other hoaxes about this virus will cause public unrest.
"This certainly raises many people’s anxiety, even though it was only a simulation but it felt like it really was happening," he said.
Terawan denied the government was slow in evacuating Indonesian citizens (WNI) from Wuhan, China. According to him, the government is very active in communicating with the Chinese so that they can carry out the evacuation process.
He said it was not easy to evacuate Indonesian citizens in Wuhan because residents there did not live in one place. There are even residents who live 500 km from Wuhan City. It was also difficult for the government to convince citizens to go home. Evidently there are four people who do not want to go home.
"Therefore, the time we got to prepare is almost less than 1x24 hours. We also had to wait for permission from the Chinese government," he said.
Terawan does not question Indonesian citizens who refused to return to Indonesia. He was sure those who chose to stay there knew the exact condition of Wuhan. This also applies to all Indonesian citizens in China.
Terawan said that residents who did not pass the screening must accept the consequences of conditions of the Public Health Emergency International Concern. Namely 'no country can send sick citizens or dispatch people in sick conditions'.
"This is in regards to any sickness, because of this, the right screening procedures are done so that there are no violations of the Public Health Emergency International Concern. So, they were screened at the examination so they cannot go, even eye pain or digestion, so it is positive that it is not the coronavirus," he said.