Local News

More Than 80 Percent of Coronavirus Cases in Bali Are Imported

The regional secretary of the Bali provincial government and the head of the tourist island’s Covid-19 Task Force, Dewa Made Indra, said 82.67 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases on the island were imported cases from overseas. The rest, 17.33 per­cent, were the results of local transmissions. The data will help determine the provincial government’s strategy in trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus on Indonesia’s number one tourist spot.

“Since the majority of cases are imported, we will employ strict­er screening at [immigration] gates into Bali. We will have body temperature checks and also rapid testing,” Dewa said in a statement released in Denpasar on Tuesday. The goal is to de­tect all positive Covid-19 cases in Bali immediately. The provin­cial government will treat the coronavirus patients on the island until they fully recover.

“These imported cases are difficult for us to control. We have many migrant workers who are only now returning to Bali,” Dewa said. He said the migrant workers have returned to Bali because they have either been laid off or put on forced unpaid leave by their employers. The provincial government will not prevent these migrant workers from returning home.

“They will be put through a rigorous health check. Those who have the virus will be isolated to prevent transmissions,” Dewa said. A total of 300 Indonesian crew members from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship had arrived at Benoa Harbor in Denpasar on Sunday. Since then, a total of 18,335 people around the area had been subjected to rapid testing for coronavirus.

They include returning migrant workers, medical workers who have been treating Covid-19 patients, airport staff, quarantine officers and other regional government staff. Dewa said even though only 26 out of the total 150 positive coronavirus cases on the island were the results of local transmission, the provin­cial government still follows the coronavirus mitigation protocols issued by the National Covid-19 Task Force.

“We hope to keep the number of local transmissions under con­trol. We will need a different strategy to what we use on the imported cases,” he said. Bali Governor I Wayan Koster so far has not considered implementing a large-scale social restriction (PSBB) in Bali.(jakartaglobe.id 04/05/2020)


Bali puts entire village on lockdown after hundreds tested in Bangli regency

The Bali administration has made the decision to expand the area of lockdown from one of three hamlets in Abuan village, Bangli regency, to the entire village. The decision was made after rapid tests indicated it was probable that hundreds of its resi­dents were infected by the coronavirus. All the villagers are re­quired to stay at home but will be provided meals three times a day.

The decision to isolate the whole village – home to 2,640 resi­dents – was made on Friday after the authority put one of the village’s hamlets, Serokadan, on lockdown on Thursday.

Earlier, the administration found eight of the village’s residents contracted the virus through local transmission after reportedly coming into contact with a migrant worker who had just returned from abroad.

The Bali provincial COVID-19 task force took 1,200 blood sam­ples from residents of the hamlet on Thursday, of which more than 400 returned “reactive” results after rapid testing. The team also took swab samples of 126 people, with all results coming back negative on Friday.

“Sanglah Hospital Laboratory has taken swab samples from 126 residents whose rapid tests show they were reactive to the PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test. We already got the test results and all came back negative,” said the task force’s executive chair­man, Dewa Made Indra.

The swab tests are being conducted in several phases due to the limited testing capacity of the laboratory. “On Friday morning, we took another 183 swab samples for the PCR test. We are conducting the test in phases,” Dewa Made Indra said.

On Friday, additional rapid testing was conducted on 669 resi­dents, with only four people showing “reactive” results.

As of Friday, Bali had 235 coronavirus cases with four fatalities. Eight of the total number of cases were foreigners. (thejakarta­post.com 04/05/2020)


Indonesian Immigration deports Russian family after busking video went viral

A Russian family was deported from Indonesia on Sunday, fol­lowing viral videos showing them busking at a local market in Lombok that officials say violated their visa status.

“We’re giving them a leeway because we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. If there’s no COVID-19 we would surely act more strictly,” Syahrifullah, who heads the Mataram Immi­gration Office, told Kompas.

The man, identified as 29-year-old MB, and the woman, identi­fied as 28-year-old E, along with their 2-year-old daughter S, were deported from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport yes­terday, with a flight that was reportedly arranged by the Russian Consulate in Bali.

A few videos of the trio were shared on Facebook recently, showing the couple performing around a Lombok market and singing. It appears that the same couple have been spotted in other cities in the region and engaging in similar behavior, in­cluding an incident in Kuala Lumpur where they were detained by the Malaysian Police for violently swinging their then four-month-old baby during a street performance in February of last year. MB and E reportedly told officials that they were street musicians who regularly travel around the world, and claimed that they were running out of money.

“I was playing music in Bali, but the police forbid us when it’s our way of buying food and surviving. We only have enough money for one month to stay in Bali, so we went to Lombok in search of a busking opportunity, but the door was closed for that too,” MB said, as quoted by Tribun.(coconuts.co 04/05/2020)


Mystery as married couple are found dead on the floor of their Bali apartment as police find no signs of a struggle – and don’t rule out COVID-19

The bodies of a married couple who were found dead on the floor of their holiday apart­ment in Bali may have had CO­VID-19.The Ukrainian nation­als were found dead on Wednesday night after apart­ment staff in Kedonganan, in the south of the Indonesian resort island, realised they hadn’t left their room all day. They called in a locksmith to open the apart­ment door before making the grisly discovery.

The Ukrainian nationals were found dead on Wednesday night.

‘After they managed to open the room the two victims were lying on the floor and lifeless,’ town leader Kadek Laksana told Indone­sian publication Detik. Detectives found no evidence of violence and said COVID-19 hasn’t been ruled out. The bodies were doused with disinfectant and removed according to virus protocols.

They were transported to Sanglah General Hospital. (dailymail.co.uk 30/04/2020)


Police name Bali man suspect for throwing cremation ceremony amid COVID-19 pandemic

Police in Bali have reportedly charged a man for organizing a ngaben (traditional Balinese cremation ritual) ceremony in Bule­leng regency last Friday, after the event ignored social distanc­ing advisories and drew crowds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After questioning a number of witnesses regarding the event on Saturday, police said they gathered enough evidence to process the case further.

“One person is suspected to be responsible for the ngaben cere­mony,” Gede Sumarjaya, spokesman for the Buleleng Po­lice, told Bali Ex­press.

Footage and pho­tos from the cer­emony were widely shared on social media over the weekend, showing crowds of people gathering on the streets of Sudaji village in Buleleng regency as either participants or spectators of the ngaben. The ceremony went on despite offi­cial advisories in place suggesting that the public should post­pone religious ceremonies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

As reported by Bali Express, the man was charged with obstruc­tion of countermeasures during an epidemic under the 1984 Law on Infectious Disease Outbreaks as well as violating health quarantine measures under the 2018 Law on Health Quarantine, each carrying a maximum of one year imprisonment.

Bali has so far confirmed 271 COVID-19 cases, including 159 recoveries and four deaths. (coconuts.co 05/05/2020)


Bali is world’s most Instagrammed island

Bali has the distinction of being the island with the largest number of hashtags on Instagram, according to a ranking es­tablished by the travel agent Tourlane. At a time when paradi­siacal beaches have never seemed so inaccessible, in all likeli­hood Bali is still figuring large in many people’s daydreams.

The Indonesian destination has the distinction of being the is­land with the largest number of hashtags on Instagram, ac­cording to a ranking established by the travel agent Tourlane and published this week.

In this time of lockdown, do you sometimes find yourself dreaming of islands? There’s nothing like the innocent plea­sure of imagining a beach of white sand on the shores of a turquoise lagoon.

But which island comes to mind before all the others? For many of you the answer is probably Bali, at least it should be given its popularity on social networks. The island has no less than 60,473,066 mentions on Instagram. Tour operator Tour­lane has gone to the trouble of creating a ranking of the island destinations that are most popular on the social network.

Only islands that are not sovereign nations were considered eligible for inclusion in the ranking, while those with fewer than 100,000 hashtags were automatically excluded. The good news for Europeans is that once the lockdown is over, many of them will be able to embark on a trip to their island destination of choice without having to board a long-haul flight.

In fact, 26 of the 50 most-Instagrammed islands are located in Europe, with seven featuring in the top ten: Ibiza (Spain) ranked 2nd, Sicily (Italy) 3rd, Mallorca (Spain) 4th, Tenerife (Spain) 6th, Sardinia (Italy) 7th, Santorini (Greece) 9th and Corsica (France) 10th. (thejakartapost.com 04/05/2020)