The immigration authorities at Soekarno-Hatta Airport early on Sunday deported 32 Indians denied entry to Indonesia on Friday on account of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the South Asian country.
The 32 Indians were deported to their country from the airport at 00.40 a.m. on Sunday by Dubai-bound Emirates Airlines flight, Head of the Information and Communication Technology Section of the Soekarno-Hatta Immigration Office Sam Fernando said in a written statement released on Sunday.
“The step taken by the Soekarno-Hatta immigration office is in line with the policy issued by the Directorate General of Immigration on April 23, 2021. The policy contains the denial of entry of foreign nationals who had history of travel to India in the past 14 days before entering Indonesia,” he said.
In response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in India, the Indonesian government has also suspended the granting of visit visas and limited stay visas to Indian nationals.
While waiting for their deportation, the 32 Indians were sheltered in a special room at the international arrival terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta Airport, he said.
They were supervised not only by immigration officers but also airport security officers and port health quarantine officers, he said.
The airport immigration office on Friday denied entry to 32 Indians who arrived at the airport by Emirates Airline flight EK356.
The Indonesian government has imposed a temporary ban on flights from India, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 transmission, following a spike in infections in the South Asian country.
“We announce no regular flights are allowed. (Shipments of) Cargo are possible, but only selected cargo since we need cargo (moving) from India to Indonesia, including vaccines,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said at an online press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
Only Soekarno-Hatta, Samratulangi, Juanda, and Kualanamu airports will serve flights from and to India, he informed.
India is one of the countries experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections. As of April 22, 2021, India has reported 314,835 fresh infections, taking its total tally to 15,930,965. So far, 184,657 people have succumbed to the infection in the country.