Local News

Denpasar-Gilimanuk toll road will start construction in 2021

Bali Governor Wayan Koster, said that the construction of the Denpasar-Gilimanuk Toll Road will begin in early 2021. The completion target of the 30-40 km toll road was set to be no later than 2023. The plan was presented by the governor at the launching the Bali BPD Quick Response Code Indonesia Standard (QRIS) for SME cash and non-cash payments in front of Bali Governor Office, Niti Mandala Denpasar on Friday. The governor also stated that the completion target of the toll road feasibility study (FS) was set for June this year.

“We plan to tender the toll road project in September 2020 and land acquisitions will start when the tender begins,” Koster said to nusabali.com. If all goes to plan, continued Koster, the construction of the Denpasar-Gilimanuk Toll Road will start in early 2021. “With this plan, the toll road will be finished during 2023,” said Governor Koster.

Besides the Denpasar-Gilimanuk Toll Road, Koster also wants to continue the Prof. Dr. IB Mantra Bypass from Kusamba Village (Dawan, Klungkung) to Padangbai (Manggis, Karangasem). Meanwhile, the quality of the Gilimanuk (Jembrana) to Singaraja (Buleleng) – Malapura (Karangasem) road will be improved. With these projects, he hoped that Bali Ring Road will be completely connected.

He also stated that the feasibility study for Integrated Urban Railroads (LRT) project of the Kuta-Ngurah Rai Airport and Sanur-Ngurah Rai Airport lines has been prepared, too. “The LRT will be constructed underground. This project will run fast now, because the FS has been completed,” said Koster.

The governor also stated that economic practices must not only cause trash piles in Bali, but should provide benefits for the community. “I will not let Bali become the location of economic practices that only cause piles of trash in the area,” he said. “Bali’s economy must grow fairly and evenly, with benefits for community. Bali must be well designed,” Koster added. (Seminyaktimes.com 03/03/2020)


Bali government picks 3 hospitals to handle coronavirus outbreak

The Bali provincial government has designated three hospitals to handle possible cases of coronavirus infections. For the worst-case scenario, in which a facility for more than 50 patients should be required, officials say one hospital might be designated to exclusively handle COVID-19 cases on the island.

The Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, Sanjiwani General Hospital in Gianyar regency, and Tabanan General Hospital are officially the three hospitals in Bali that will handle possible COVID-19 patients, with a total of seven isolation rooms and 35 rooms standardized according to guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), as laid out in a statement issued by the Bali Health Agency.

“We advise the public not to worry, and not panic because the Government of Bali Province has applied a proper system with WHO standards,” the statement reads. Should the number of cases increase significantly, the designated hospital would be Udayana University Hospital, which is located in Jimbaran, South Kuta. “Worst case [scenario], if we have to designate one hospital to handle all cases of the coronavirus in Bali, we will do it too,” Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, or Cok Ace, said yesterday, as quoted by Kompas.

He reassured that the provincial government is prepared to respond to and handle the novel coronavirus outbreak. “We were closed-up about it before, but now we are ready to be transparent so that tourists visiting Bali can be at ease. Our healthcare facilities are according to standard,” Cok Ace said.

Indonesia finally confirmed its first two cases of domestic COVID-19 infections on Monday, after weeks of claiming it was free of infections as countries across the globe scramble with increasing cases of the novel coronavirus. The first people to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in Indonesia – a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter – are making inroads towards recovery in Jakarta, officials say. (Coconut.com 05/03/2020)


Lack of coronavirus cases in Aussie tourism hotspot, Bali probably right, experts say

Reports that the Aussie holiday favourite Bali has no coronavirus cases are probably correct, experts say, with travellers urged to follow official advice on the outbreak. There have only been two confirmed cases of the virus across Indonesia, with a mother aged 64 and her 31-year-old daughter announced on Monday to have the virus in capital Jakarta after coming into contact with a Japanese citizen.

Experts have cast doubt on the lack of cases in the country, with a study by Harvard University in the US earlier claiming that the country, the world’s fourth most populated, may have missed some. Indonesians officials hit back, saying there was “no hoax”. But the capital city is on a different island more than 1000km away from the holiday hotspot visited by more than one million Aussies every year and so far, no cases have been reported in Bali. While the country’s government said via Bali.com on February 2 that three tourists were tested at Sangalah General Hospital in Denpasar but results found they didn’t have the virus.

No further updates have been posted, but airports are checking people on arrival for symptoms. Australian National University’s infectious diseases specialist, Associate Professor Sanjaya Senanayake, said while he believed the government, some people may have been infected in Bali and the rest of the country, but not know it. “I definitely agree that such a large country so close to China it is surprising, but it may well be that that’s the case,” Assoc. Prof. Senanayake told nine.com.au. “It is possible they’re lucky, particularly if a large percentage of tourists are coming from Australia.”

However, he added that 80 percent of people only get a mild case of the illness, so may not know they’ve got it and would not seek medical help. And while hospitals in Indonesian capitals are good, others in Bali might not be as strong if there is an outbreak, he added. Assoc. Prof. Senanayake said Australians with holidays booked should follow official government  advice. While Indonesia, including Bali, is already at “exercise a high degree of caution” warning level, it’s not because of coronavirus, but terrorism. However, like many countries, the Smart Traveller Indonesia page has been updated with a coronavirus warning. “The Indonesian Government has confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Indonesia,” it reads.

“Australians should note the global situation with COVID-19 is changing very quickly. “Read our bulletin on COVID-19 for advice on measures to reduce the risk of infection. Talk to your doctor before travelling if you are in an at-risk group.”

Meanwhile, Bali’s tourism bosses posted on Instagram this week about the coronavirus outbreak. “We feel your concern,” the post read. However, what we can do now is taking care of ourselves better by following the prevention steps. It told people to wash their hands and wear masks. With 100,000 Chinese visitors every month not able to travel since since flights from China to Indonesia were cancelled on February 5, tourism, the island’s biggest income, is suffering. The Straits Times reported at the recent Galungan festival locals were praying for the island.

“We’re praying for good things in this universe and that the virus is gone soon so Bali’s tourism can bounce back,” priest Made Langgeng Buwana told AFP. Prime Minister Scott Morrison met Indonesian President Joko Widodo on February 10 in Canberra and confirmed the pair had discussed the outbreak. “We will continue to work closely with our medical advisers and the other arrangements that we have to ensure that we can both effectively carry out our responsibilities to our peoples to keep the health and well-being of our peoples in the highest possible order,” he said at the time. (9News.com.au 05/03/2020)


No casualties in Sanur beachfront resort fire: official

Fire broke out at the Grand Inna Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur Monday evening, producing heavy dark smoke which was visible outside of the property. Authorities said there were no casualties in the incident.

“We currently suspect electric short circuit causing fire to fabric and clothing [in the laundry room],” I Made Rentin, acting head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) in Bali, told Merdeka. According to reports, the fire started at around 6:30pm and was subsequently put out an hour later. Prior to the fire in the laundry room, there had been another fire on the 10th floor of the hotel, which was successfully put out by the hotel staff. However, the staff then noticed another fire starting on the 9th floor, where the laundry room is located, and proceeded to call the fire department.

“There were no casualties in the incident, and we evacuated the guests right away. [The hotel] only endured material loss, but there are no estimates just yet,” Rentin told (Coconut.com 03/03/2020)


Australian woman diagnosed with COVID-19 traveled from Iran via Kuala Lumpur and Bali: Australian official

An Australian woman has been diagnosed with COVID-19 following recent travel from Iran via Kuala Lumpur and Bali, the government in the Australian state of Victoria announced yesterday. The woman is in her 30s and had returned from Tehran via Kuala Lumpur and Bali on Malindo Air flight OD 177, which landed in Melbourne on Friday, according to a media release issued by the government of the state of Victoria. She is said to be recovering in isolation at home.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton urged passengers who were on the same flight from Denpasar, particularly those sitting in the same row or two rows either side of the woman, to self-quarantine, hoping to minimize the threat posed by the novel coronavirus, as reported by Australian news outlet ABC. Australian officials were reportedly waiting on the flight manifest in order to contact the passengers.

Sutton confirmed that the woman was in the early stages of her illness when she caught the flight, and later checked herself to a hospital on Saturday. She was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 late Sunday. “It’s really only very close contact for a relatively prolonged period of time that puts someone at risk and it was at the very beginning of this case’s illness and so I think it’s unlikely that many people on that flight will be at risk,” the Australian official was quoted as saying.

The Victorian government has also issued a recommendation for people who had traveled to a number of countries and become unwell to seek medical advice and be tested for COVID-19, the list of which included Indonesia. Indonesia today announced that two citizens have tested positive for COVID-19, making them the first people to be diagnosed in the country. Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said that the patients are from Depok, a city in the outskirts of Jakarta, and were infected after coming into contact with a Japanese national who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Malaysia shortly after leaving Indonesia.

A New Zealand woman in her 60s became New Zealand’s first case of COVID-19 last Friday, following a recent travel from Iran to Auckland, on a flight that had also transited in Bali. As of yesterday, the Bali Health Agency says it’s still looking into the flight manifest for the Emirates flight EK450 that the New Zealander was on. The woman is believed to have left the airplane for at least 90 minutes in Bali before continuing on her journey to Auckland, though this has yet to be officially confirmed by Indonesian authorities.

Several foreign nationals who recently traveled to Bali have tested positive for the disease upon returning to their respective home countries, including a Japanese national who visited in mid-February and a Chinese man who visited Bali in late January. However, it has yet to be determined if they contracted the virus while on the Island of the Gods. (Coconut.com 03/03/2020)