AT least 59 countries have prohibited Indonesian citizens from entering their country. This is related to the high number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country. As of Monday, September 7, 2020, the total number of Corona virus cases in Indonesia reached 196,989 people, while the total number of patients recovered was 140,652 people, and 8,130 patients were reported dead.

One country that limits visits from Indonesia to their country is Malaysia. The ban was announced by Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday, September 1 and took effect Monday, September 7. Apart from visits by Indonesian citizens, Malaysia also limits visits from the Philippines and India. The local government believes that positive cases of Corona in the three countries have increased sharply.

According to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the ban was the right of the local government. The Indonesian government has also implemented a similar policy, namely limiting general entry access for foreign nationals to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

“We also urge Indonesian citizens not to travel abroad except for urgent needs. Other countries that limit visits from Indonesia include Hungary, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa,” said Retno.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador to Hungary Abdurachman Hudiono Dimas Wahab said that the ban was relaxed last August on condition that immigrants undergo two PCR tests. However, starting in September, the ban was again tightened.

Two government officials said that since there were entry bans from 59 countries, the Indonesian government has tried to lobby other countries to relax their regulations. So, Indonesian citizens can re-enter. However, said the two officials, many countries still refused or did not provide certainty. Not only because of the high number of Corona cases in the country, some countries are also considering the ability of the Indonesian government to overcome the outbreak. [sources/photo special]