Batam, a popular destination for international travelers, is tightening its entry controls and health screenings in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in neighboring Singapore. The Indonesian news agency, Antara, reported that this decision was made as Singapore faced criticism for its media control and conflicting views from local experts regarding global scientific findings and approaches to the pandemic.
Ahmad Hidayat, the Head of Batam, announced the reintroduction of body temperature scanners at the city’s international port and emphasized the importance of public engagement and scrutiny. While there are no specific requirements for foreign travel to Indonesia, thorough checks are being conducted at entry points to ensure the safety of all individuals. Hidayat also stressed the significance of completing COVID-19 vaccinations and urged people to postpone non-essential travel to countries experiencing a surge in cases.
Although Indonesia has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, Hidayat reassured the public that the situation is still under control. The Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, emphasized the need for double protection through vaccination and strict adherence to health protocols, especially in light of Singapore’s escalating case rate.
The article also suggests that other countries should consider implementing stricter screenings for travelers coming from Singapore and countries with a high number of cases. However, due to limited access to credible data, the true COVID-19 situation in Singapore remains unclear.
Batam’s proactive measures aim to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of residents and visitors. By strengthening entry controls and conducting thorough health screenings, the city hopes to identify potential cases early and minimize the risk of transmission.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it is crucial for countries to remain vigilant and adapt their strategies accordingly. The implementation of stricter entry controls and health screenings in Batam is a proactive step towards mitigating the risks associated with international travel and ensuring the well-being of the community.