TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Indonesian government on Thursday (Dec. 17) expressed regret over Taiwan's decision to extend the entry ban on Indonesian migrant workers indefinitely, urging it to reconsider the measure.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced the government will continue to suspend entry of Indonesian migrant workers due to the increasing number of imported coronavirus cases from Indonesia. Taiwan had placed a temporary entry ban on all Indonesian migrant workers from Dec. 4-17 after it received 28 imported cases from the Southeast Asian nation in just five days.
According to Chen, all 85 Indonesian migrant workers diagnosed with COVID-19 in Taiwan recently were from 14 manpower agencies in Indonesia. Since many of them had presented proof of a negative coronavirus test prior to their flights, he doubted the test results issued are entirely credible.
After promising to investigate the 14 manpower agencies and their epidemic prevention measures, the Indonesian government said Thursday that it was disappointed by Taiwan’s decision. Benny Rhamdani, head of the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, said in a statement the Taiwan government should not have made a premature decision before the results of the investigation came out.
Rhamdani pointed out that 12 of the manpower agencies had made improvements to their training centers and workers' dormitories under the government’s supervision. Meanwhile, the other two organizations still need to enhance their pandemic measures, he said.
Rhamdani emphasized that Indonesia is serious about epidemic prevention as well as protecting the health of its migrant workers. He hopes the Taiwan government will respect Indonesia's investigation results and remove the entry ban on its workers, reported CNA.
Benny Rhamdani, head of the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers. (Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers photo)