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Taiwan Suspends Entry of Indonesian Migrant Workers over 85 Covid-19 Positive

December 2, 2020, 11.43 PM

JAKARTA, – Taiwan is temporarily suspending the entry of Indonesian migrant workers starting on December 4 after 85 people tested positive for Covid-19 in October and November.

Benny Rhamdani, Head of the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BP2MI), confirmed the news saying that he met with the Taiwan representatives in Indonesia, TETO, for clarification.

“Indonesia is serious with its Covid-19 mitigation effort because the safety of our migrant workers is of utmost importance. On September 9, BP2MI issued a decree that required our overseas workers to conduct a PCR test before leaving for their destination country.

“We issued the decree before the Taiwanese authorities even required a PCR test for our migrant workers. For us, the word that 85 Indonesian overseas workers are Covid-19 positive is an extremely serious problem.”

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Benny continued saying that BP2MI made a recommendation to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower to revoke the licenses of companies under the Indonesian Migrant Workers Placement Agency (P3MI) should it be found to violate health protocols by not requiring PCR tests of Indonesia’s migrant workers.

The government has found 14 companies registered under P3MI that have emerged as Covid-19 clusters based on the 85 confirmed overseas Covid-19 cases.

“From there, we created a specialized team which collaborated with TETO for reinforcement, monitoring, and evaluation purposes. The team found that P3MI had been effective and consistent in carrying out PCR tests of our overseas workers before they head to the destination country.”

Benny has asked representatives of P3MI and healthcare service providers to guide BP2MI on the placement of Indonesia’s overseas workers amid the pandemic on Dec. 7.

Read also: Indonesia, South Korea Discuss Covid-19 Handling, Migrant Workers Protection

In the meeting, P3MI must present a list of the names of the country’s migrant workers who will be placed in Taiwan or are already there as well as evidence of their PCR tests.

“We will also ask the Taiwanese authorities to assist us in informing the full names of our overseas workers who have contracted the Covid-19 virus for our reference to conduct tracing in the country.”

With the temporary ban involving Taiwan-bound Indonesian workers, Benny plans on reevaluating existing policies and considering strengthening regulations on health protocol enforcement.

“We will revise our decree that was issued on September 9, 2020, and improve it in a way that it includes a provision on sanctions for P3MI should it not enforce strict health protocols or cannot provide proof of valid PCR tests.”

Read also: Migrant Worker Buried in Malaysia As Family Had No Money to Bring Her Body Home to Indonesia

The entry ban on Indonesian migrant workers into Taiwan will last from December 4-17 while further information will be provided after December 17.

The 14 companies under P3MI that have become Covid-19 clusters will regain the chance to place Indonesian overseas workers in Taiwan after receiving a recommendation from Indonesia’s Health Ministry, BP2MI, and approval from CDC Taiwan.

(Writer: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya | Editor: Krisiandi)


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