Bali Experiencing Surge In Covid Cases Due To An Increase In Tourism

Bali Experiencing Surge In Covid Cases Due To An Increase In Tourism

Cases of Covid-19 are increasing rapidly in Bali and Java. However, Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, indicated that the number of cases outside Java and Bali is small and declining.

He stated that new cases are regularly registered in North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and Central Kalimantan. Although new cases have been added in these regions, the overall number of cases continues to decline.

He declared unequivocally that “for cases outside of Java and Bali, they are low and declining.” Cases in Bali and Java account for 95 percent of all cases nationwide, and community transmission has reached a national level of eight cases per 100,000 people.

Minister Hartarto said, “So, according to the World Health Organization levels, we are still at Level 1. The standard is 20 per 100,000.”

By the time of the review in late July, Bali and the rest of Indonesia will be on Level 1. To keep this level, wearing masks in busy indoor and outdoor public areas is mandatory.

Bali Provincial Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Dewa Made Indra explained the latest statistics for the island in a subsequent speech at the provincial government offices in Denpasar, Bali.

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He acknowledged that the number of cases has increased in the past week, with a high of 105 new cases recorded on Sunday, July 17. This is a significant increase considering the number of new positive cases in previous weeks.

“This figure is mostly contributed by foreign travel agents [tourists] and it was found when they carried out a PCR test at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport [upon arrival in] Bali’. Indra told reporters.” 

Vaccinated overseas tourists are not required to undergo PCR testing to land in Bali, but it has been alleged that certain individuals are required to do so due to temperature checks when entering the airport.

When asked why the increase in cases was observed in Bali and not in other regions of Indonesia, apart from Java, Indra said it was a risk to the reopening and dependence on tourists for Bali’s economic recovery. 

Because we are promoting economic recovery, he claimed, “There are numerous incidents [cases] in Bali.” He explained that an important reason is the mobility of domestic and foreign tourists.