Indonesia closes Entikong checkpoint to foreigners

Soldier. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, March 19: Indonesia has closed the border at the Entikong checkpoint in Pontianak to prevent buses, vehicles and foreign nationals from entering from neighbouring countries.

According to Borneo Bulletin, the Indonesian West Kalimantan provincial government has closed its border post at Entikong starting Monday (March 16) to prevent the spread of he novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The closure came into effect on the same day the Malaysian government announced a nation-wide movement control order.

At the same time, Indonesian paper Tribun Pontianak quoted West Kalimantan’s provincial head of transportation department Manto Saidi as saying West Kalimantan Governor H Sutarmidji had issued a stop order to prevent vehicles from neighbouring countries such as Brunei and Sarawak from crossing over to Entikong.

Nonetheless, the Entikong border post allows returing Indonesians to pass through while shutting its doors to foreigners.

The paper also quoted Sutarmidji as saying he wanted express buses plying the Kuching-Pontianak route from other destinations in Sarawak and Brunei to temporarily halt operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

He observed that those express buses have to go through the Tebedu Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Sarawak and Entikong before arriving in Pontianak.

Tribun Pontianak did not mention how long the Entikong post would be closed. — DayakDaily