Indonesia to bring back citizens aboard World Dream cruise by naval ship

JAKARTA (CNA) – Indonesia has sent a navy ship to bring back 188 of its nationals working as crew aboard the World Dream cruise liner amid coronavirus concerns, a minister and a Health Ministry official said yesterday.

The World Dream ship had been denied entry in Taiwan before docking in Hong Kong earlier this month. Its 1,800 passengers disembarked there but a similar number of crew stayed on board.

Three Chinese nationals, who had been aboard the ship between January 19-24, were found to have contracted the virus.

Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto, said the ship was now in international waters near Singapore and 188 Indonesian crew members were set to be brought back. He said crew members could be quarantined for “up to 28 days.”

Indonesia’s Chief Human Development Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the navy ship, equipped with medical facilities, would pick up Indonesian crew members.

They would be taken to an uninhabited island with “good facilities” in the Java Sea north of Jakarta for observation, he said.

“We will observe them according to procedures set by the WHO (World Health Organization),” he said.

Passengers had disembarked from World Dream on February 9, leaving the 1,814 crew members on board, according to World Dream’s operator, Dream Cruises.

In a statement, Dream Cruises said after it had suspended its operations, Hong Kong health authorities had confirmed that all passengers and crew on the final sailing had passed extensive health screenings and temperature checks.