As Indonesian evacuees return from Wuhan, locals protest against the move to quarantine them

WION Web Team Ranai, , Indonesia Feb 03, 2020, 09.03 PM(IST)

A toddler along with family members are seen wearing protective facemasks at the Raden Sadjad airport in Ranai, Indonesia's Natuna island, on February 3, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Protests broke out in the capital Ranai about a few kilometres from the heavily guarded military base against the decision to quarantine the evacuees.

Protesters clashed with the police in Indonesia's Natuna island as nationals evacuated from Wuhan arrived to be quarantined on Sunday.
 
Three military planes brought 241 evacuees to the quarantine facility, designed for 300 people on the rear of the Indonesian military base at Ranai, a coastal area far from settlements.

However, the government's decision to isolate Indonesian nationals on the island to prevent the possible spread of a deadly new virus has surprisingly sparked anger among residents.

Protests broke out in the capital Ranai about a few kilometres from the heavily guarded military base against the decision to quarantine the evacuees.

Indonesian leaders and health officials have urged calm and explained that the evacuees were healthy and had passed health screening by the Chinese authorities before returning home, but had to be quarantined following WHO guidelines.