Caesar Akbar, Jakarta - At least 59 countries have restricted entry of Indonesian citizens over concerns of the high number of Covid-19 positive cases in the archipelago.
As of Monday, September 7, 2020, Indonesia recorded 196,989 confirmed cases. Of which, 140,652 people have made recovery, and 8,130 patients succumbed to the new coronavirus disease.
As quoted from Majalah Tempo's Sept. 5, 2020 edition, Malaysia is among the 59 countries. Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday, Sept. 1 announced the prohibition.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi considered the ban as the rights of each country's government. Retno said the Indonesian government had also applied a similar policy, restricting entry of foreign nationals in a bid to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
"We also urge Indonesian citizens not to travel abroad unless there is an urgent need," said Retno in a special interview with Tempo on Friday, Sept. 4.
Other countries that limit visits of Indonesian citizens include Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
Retno Marsudi admitted there were communications with other countries to loosen the entry ban for Indonesian citizens. However, she said it was not for people in general, but business visits in national strategic projects and urgent government trips. "So that the economy will run without sacrificing health issues," she said.