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The Importance of Airplane Passengers From Overseas Undergoing PCR Tests Upon Arrival in Indonesia

16 Oct 2021

Jakarta - The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and it is now known that there are new variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the Mu and Lambda variants that have appeared in a number of countries.

As an effort to control and prevent imported cases of COVID-19 including the new variant, Indonesia is currently enforcing a health protocol for international travellers.

Based on the Circular Letter of the Minister of Transportation Number 85 of 2021 concerning Guidelines for the Implementation of International Travel by Air Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic which is effective on October 13, 2021, one of the health protocols is that airplane passengers from abroad with the aim of Indonesia must have undergone a complete dose of vaccination.

In addition, passengers on planes destined for Indonesia are also still required to carry out an RT-PCR test whose samples are taken 3 x 24 hours before departure.

Then, in order to determine the health status of international travelers when they leave the airport, an isothermal molecular test (NAAT/other types) is carried out whose results can be known in 1 hour or an RT-PCR test at the arrival airport in Indonesia. In line with this, Soekarno-Hatta Airport, which is designated as one of the entry points for international flights, has prepared a NAAT/RT-PCR test facility for airplane passengers from abroad who have just landed.

Head of Soekarno-Hatta Class I Port Health Office (KKP Ministry of Health) dr. Darmawali Handoko said the COVID-19 tests carried out by airplane passengers before departing and upon arrival in Indonesia could help with the handling of COVID-19 in the country.

"Passengers must carry out an RT-PCR test in the country of departure, then retest upon arrival in Indonesia, this is an effort so that we can anticipate, dispel and handle appropriately if there are imported cases of COVID-19, as an effort to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases. -19 in Indonesia.”

"In the midst of this pandemic, domestic and international travel cannot be carried out as in normal conditions. There are health protocols in place to anticipate the spread of COVID-19," said dr. Darmawali Handoko.

Further, dr. Darmawali Handoko said that by following this health protocol, airplane passengers have participated in efforts to control COVID-19.

"We express our gratitude for the willingness of passengers on international routes to undergo health protocols when landing at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, including conducting a COVID-19 test. By following the health protocol, international passengers will participate in efforts to control COVID-19," explained dr. Darmawali Handoko.

The Director General of Civil Aviation at the Ministry of Transportation Novie Riyanto also said the importance of the RT-PCR test to anticipate imported cases.

"For Indonesian citizens and foreigners who will enter Indonesia, they must follow the provisions set by the government of the Republic of Indonesia, including carrying out a PCR test, having been vaccinated with complete doses and of course also complying with all health protocols, including carrying out a PCR test at the arrival airport and carrying out quarantine for 5x24 hours. . This is very important to ensure that Indonesian citizens and foreigners who enter Indonesia do not have the potential to bring imported cases and prevent the entry of new variants of the Covid 19 virus," explained Director General Novie.

The implementation of NAAT/RT-PCR at Soekarno-Hatta Airport is carried out in the arrival hall (arrival hall) of Terminal 3. A number of facilities and spaces have been provided by Soekarno-Hatta Airport to support stakeholders and aircraft passengers in undergoing RT-PCR.

Executive General Manager of Soekarno-Hatta Airport Agus Haryadi said that flight operational arrangements were also made to prevent accumulation of passengers at the test point.

"Arrangements for flight arrivals and the flow of international passenger arrivals are carried out in coordination with relevant stakeholders so that we strive so that the implementation of the COVID-19 test at the international arrival hall of Terminal 3 can be carried out smoothly and passengers do not wait too long to take tests and find out test results," he said. Agus Haryadi.

Meanwhile, based on the SE Minister of Transportation Number 85/2021, airplane passengers from abroad also undergo a 5 x 24 hour centralized quarantine, and on the 4th day of quarantine, the RT-PCR test is carried out again.