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People hold a sign as they wait for their relatives who were quarantined on Natuna island after being evacuated from Wuhan following the outbreak of the coronavirus, at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 15, 2020. REUTERS

JAKARTA: Indonesians evacuated from China on Feb 2 and placed under two-week quarantine in Natuna Island, were allowed to return to their homes today after they were found to be free of COVID-19 , Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said in a statement here today.

He also said Indonesia is still free of any COVID-19 infection.

Indonesia temporarily stopped all flights from and to China since Feb 5 after initially doing the same for Wuhan City and Hubei province in China from Jan 23.

Wuhan City, the capital of Hubei province, is the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

According to local media, the 238 Indonesians who were quarantined were brought out of the island from 1.15 pm (local time) in three military aircraft.

The aircraft were reported to have arrived at the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport here at around 4 pm (local time).

All were reported to be in good health during the quarantine period at a military air base on the island.

Sixteen of them are from Jakarta and the rest from 28 other provinces in Indonesia. They will be making overland or air journeys to return to their hometowns.

On Feb 2, they were airlifted out of Wuhan City via a Batik Air flight which landed at the Hang Nadim Airport in Batam Island at 8.45 am (local time) the same day before being flown in three military aircraft to Natuna Island. – BERNAMA

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