Indonesia requires travelers from PH to secure int’l certification vs. polio

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2019   •   720

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta on Monday (October 28) issued an advisory regarding the Indonesian government’s newly imposed measures for travelers coming from the Philippines following the reported third case of polio virus infection in the country.

According to the advisory, all travelers from the Philippines who wish to enter and stay in Indonesia for at least four weeks need to have immunization from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) Type 2.

Each traveler should, at least, present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) or other acceptable document as proof of anti-polio immunization.

The embassy added that in case the traveler is unable to present poof of immunization, Indonesian port authorities will provide vaccination and certification for a fee of IDR175,000 or about P675.

If the traveler refuses vaccination, the embassy said, he or she will be banned entry to Indonesia and eventually face deportation.

The advisory clarified, however, that the new measure applies only for travelers who intend to stay in Indonesia for at least four weeks.

Travelers who wish to stay for less than the given period are exempted from the forced vaccination.

Likewise, vaccination is not mandatory to departing passengers, the embassy said.

UPDATED ADVISORY ON POLIO

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Indonesia on Monday, 28 October 2019

Confirmed polio cases in PH climb to 16 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it recorded four more confirmed cases of polio, bringing to 16 the total number of cases since the outbreak was declared in September 2019.

The DOH said two of the new cases were from Maguindanao – both males, two and three years old, as reported by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The third case is a two-year-old boy from Sultan Kudarat while the fourth case is a three-year-old boy from Quezon City.

The children were said to have manifested with fever, diarrhea, muscle pain, asymmetric ascending paralysis and weakness of extremities.

In light of this, the DOH reiterated its call for parents to have their children vaccinated against the disease through its Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign.

The department said the campaign’s succeeding rounds are scheduled from January 20 to February 2 in all regions of Mindanao, and from January 27 to February 7 in the National Capital Region.

“I urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the coming SPKP campaign rounds scheduled in your respective areas. Have your children, including those with private physicians or pediatricians, vaccinated with oral polio vaccine by health workers and bakunators,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“Additional polio doses can provide additional protection to your children. There is no overdose with the oral polio vaccine,” he added.

In September 2019, the department confirmed the re-emergence of the disease in the Philippines 19 years after it was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.

Indonesian president visits island in waters disputed by Beijing

UNTV News   •   January 8, 2020

Jakarta – The president of Indonesia on Wednesday visited an island in disputed waters of the South China Sea amid a weeks-long standoff between Indonesian and Chinese vessels, an outgrowth of the ongoing territorial spat in which Jakarta and Beijing both claim sovereignty over the area.

Joko Widodo made the symbolic trip to Natuna Besar – the main island of the Middle Natuna Archipelago in the Riau Islands province – in a bid to assert Indonesia’s claims of ownership of the waters. There, he met with local fishermen and talked to reporters.

“I am here too to ensure law enforcement for our sovereign rights – our country’s sovereign rights – over the richness of our marine natural resources in the exclusive economic zone,” Widodo said. “Why are Bakamla (the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency) and the Navy here? To ensure the rule of law.”

The leader, who was re-elected to a second term in April of last year, added that Indonesia had a district, a regent and a governor in the area. “There are no more debates. De facto, de jure, Natuna is Indonesia.”

Meanwhile, Geng Shuang, the main spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said Wednesday that Beijing had repeatedly reiterated its sovereignty and jurisdiction over relevant waters in the South China Sea.

“I have to stress that China and Indonesia have no territorial sovereignty disputes. Our claims for maritime interests in certain waters in South China Sea overlap,” Geng said. “We are ready to properly handle the differences with Indonesia and uphold the peace and stability in the region as well as our two countries’ relations. Actually, we have been in communication through diplomatic channels.”

The face-off between the two Asian nations erupted in the second half of December when a Chinese coast guard ship that was escorting several fishing vessels entered waters that Jakarta says belong to its EEZ (though Beijing claims the waters as its own, along with most of the South China Sea).

In response to the incursion, Indonesia summoned the Chinese ambassador, issued a letter of protest and sent warships and fighter jets to strengthen its military presence in the area, which it re-named the North Natuna Sea in 2017. Beijing, in turn, deployed another coast guard boat.

On Tuesday, Indonesia sent four more warships as reinforcement. The Southeast Asian country currently has a naval presence of 10 military vessels around Natuna.

The dispute over the Natuna Islands dates back to 2016, when Indonesia decided to build military bases in the region following a series of conflicts with Chinese fishing boats.

Besides Indonesia, China is locked in sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Beijing stakes claim on nearly the entire South China Sea region, an area through which $5 billion worth of commercial traffic passes annually, and which boasts large fishing zones and is reportedly rich in oil and gas reserves. EFE-EPA

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Indonesia strengthens its military presence in disputed maritime zone

UNTV News   •   January 8, 2020

Indonesian president Joko Widodo

Jakarta – Indonesia has strengthened its military presence in the South China Sea by deploying four warships in response to the presence of Chinese vessels in the area, triggering a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Defense commander, Yudo Margono, on Tuesday told local media Kompas that a fishing boat and two Chinese coast guards vessels remained in the waters near Natuna Islands, which Jakarta considers as its exclusive economic zone.

However, Beijing claims the islands as its own along with almost all of the South China Sea.

With these ships, the Indonesian armed forces have now deployed 10 military vessels in the area in the face of China’s apparent territorial ambitions.

Chinese fishing boats arrived in Natuna towards the end of December, prompting the Indonesian foreign ministry to summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta and send a diplomatic letter defending its territorial sovereignty.

“There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty,” Indonesian president Joko Widodo had said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi issued a statement on Monday asking China to respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which it is a party.

Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, on his part, announced ending 120 fishing vessels to the disputed maritime region, which was named North Natuna Sea by Jakarta in 2017.

The dispute over the Natuna Islands dates back to 2016, when Indonesia decided to build military bases in the region following a series of conflicts with Chinese fishing boats.

Besides Indonesia, China is locked in sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Beijing stakes claim on nearly the entire South China Sea region, an area through which $5 billion worth of commercial traffic passes annually, and which boasts large fishing zones and is reportedly rich in oil and gas reserves. EFE-EPA

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