Local News

Bali Government Finally Imposes Emergency Partial Lockdown After Previously Refusing The Implementation

After previously refusing to implement PPKM (the emergency partial lockdown) that was instructed by the President, Bali provincial government finally agreed to impose the policy on the island.

Bali Regional Secretary, Dewa Made Indra who previously stated that Bali is currently not in an emergency situation from Covid-19 transmissions has revised his statement, and finally agreed to implement the policy as it was instructed by President Jokowi on Thursday (1/7).

The Head of Bali Civil Service Officer, Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi confirmed that Bali will impose an emergency partial lockdown earlier than the President’s instruction that is supposed to start on the 3rd of July 2021.

“Bali is currently on the assessment of level 3 (orange zone) from the Covid-19 pandemic, so we will start to implement an emergency partial lockdown today.” Dharmadi said on Thursday (1/7).

The partial lockdown is imposed on seven Bali regions that are considered as orange zones such as Denpasar, Jembrana, Badung, Gianyar, Bangli, Klungkung and Buleleng. The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster hopes that this implementation will reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmissions in all Bali regions.

Prior to this decision, the central government through the minister of maritime and investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that every regional leader who refused to implement the emergency partial lockdown as instructed to their areas would be temporarily deactivated as a form of sanction.

“In accordance to the Article 68 number 1 and 2 from the Constitution Number 23 Year 2014 about Regional Government, the Governor, Regent and Mayor who refuse to follow this instruction to impose emergency partial lockdowns from the 3rd to 20th of July 2021 would be sanction with a warning and could potentially be temporarily deactivated from their duty.” Luhut concluded. (thebalisun.com 03/07/2021)

No more GeNose, as only PCR test results accepted for air travellers visiting Bali

Negative results from PCR swab tests are now the only acceptable document for air travelers visiting Bali, Governor Wayan Koster announced today, with other not-so-reliable COVID-19 test methods believed to have contributed to the infected slipping through the cracks and into the island.

“So we are tightening restrictions at Bali’s entry points, [those] traveling with air transportation must use PCR-based tests. They can no longer use GeNose,” Koster said today.

Results from GeNose tests are no longer acceptable for those traveling by land or sea either, Koster added, though rapid antigen swab tests are still accepted for travelers going by these modes of transport.

In April, Bali officials started allowing all travelers to present negative results from the locally developed GeNose COVID-19 test to enter the province. At the time, public health experts raised concerns about GeNose’s accuracy, and said it shouldn’t be used so widely.
Along with the newly announced traveling requirements, all negative swab test results must also come with a QR code to prevent fake documentation, Koster said.

“Because there have been many fake [and] paid documentation. So they have the results but they have never gone through a swab test,” he said.

The new requirements are applicable starting today, though officials are likely to implement a transition period for a few days before making it completely mandatory.

The governor said Bali has seen an increase in domestic travelers in the last few weeks, averaging between 8,000 and 9,000 people coming in via air transport, while around 10,000 people pass through Gilimanuk Port daily.

After about a month of reporting less than 100 daily cases, Bali’s daily count rose to triple digits on June 19 and has been climbing up since. Indonesia is battling its fiercest coronavirus outbreak yet, setting a new daily record just yesterday with over 21,000 cases. (coconuts.co 29/06/2021)

Serial thieves who preyed on Bali’s foreign tourists arrested

Two robbers who police say targeted foreign tourists have been arrested in Bali’s Gianyar regency. The suspects admitted to 14 counts of robbery in the last three months.

“They are specialists in snatching tourists’ mobile phones, waiting and stalking until their targets are off guard while using their phones to check Google Maps. That’s when they would snatch [the phone] from their victims,”  I Made Ariawan P, who heads the Sukawati precinct, said in a statement.

Police said one of the incidents occurred as recently as June 15 and had involved a Russian tourist. In a motorbike, the suspects drove close to the victim and snatched their phone away, causing the tourist to fall from their vehicle. A police officer was near the scene at the time and managed to apprehend one of the two suspects. The other suspect was apprehended later at another location.

The suspects confessed to 14 different robberies in the past three months, eight of which were carried out on Jalan Sunset Road, Kuta, while the rest were carried out in Sukawati. Most of their victims had an iPhone, which the suspects later sold online to other parts of the country.

The suspects reportedly use the money for online gambling and to fulfill their daily needs, and are both ex-convicts for similar crimes.

Ariawan said they have been charged with assault and theft under Indonesia’s criminal code (KUHP), and face a maximum of 12 years in prison each. (coconuts.co 29/06/2021)

Bali reopening to foreign tourists delayed as COVID-19 surges

Indonesia’s government will wait until COVID-19 cases fall significantly before opening Bali to foreign tourists, the country’s tourism minister said in an interview.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the economy of Bali, for decades a magnet for holidaymakers thanks to its spectacular beaches, vibrant nightlife and distinctive Hindu culture.

“We were targeting end of July, beginning of August, but we just have to be mindful of where we are in this recent spike (in coronavirus cases),” Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Cultural Economy, Sandiaga Uno, told Reuters in an interview on Monday (Jun 28).

“We will be waiting for the situation to be more conducive.”

Coronavirus infections have surged across Indonesia in recent weeks, including in Bali, where there has been a fourfold rise in the past month, albeit from a low base, to about 200 cases per day, according to official data.

Uno said he wanted Bali’s daily coronavirus infections to fall to 30 or 40 per day before reopening.

The true extent of Bali’s infections is masked by its low testing rates, which stand at 15 per cent of the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization, according to data released by the global health body.

Indonesia’s government has prioritised Bali for vaccinations, and was seeing good early results as most people infected with coronavirus showed only mild symptoms, Uno said.

While bed occupancy rates were approaching 100 per cent in many parts of the neighbouring, densely populated island of Java, he said the rate was below 50 per cent in Bali.

About 71 per cent of Balinese had received a first vaccine dose, and the target of full vaccination for 70 per cent of its population could be achieved by the end of July, Uno said.

Domestic travellers to Bali will now be required to have a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before entering, a measure to insulate the island from the pandemic.

As well as traditional tourists, Bali hopes to attract ‘digital nomads’ – international entrepreneurs operating Internet-based companies. They will be granted five-year visas under the proposed scheme.

“If they earn income within Indonesia they will be taxed but if it’s solely from overseas there will be zero tax,” Uno said. (channelnewsasia.com 29/06/2021)

Italian Man Was Unable To Pay Fine For Not Wearing Mask In Denpasar

An Italian National was unable to pay a fine after getting caught by the authorities for not wearing a mask while driving a motorbike in Denpasar.

During an operation that was conducted by Bali authorities in the Sidakarya area, Denpasar on Wednesday (23/6), an Italian national was sanctioned for not wearing a face mask during his activities in a public area.

Unfortunately, the Italian man was unable to pay a USD 70 (IDR 1 million) fine as he wasn’t carrying enough cash that day. However, the authority from the Public Civil Service Officer proceeded legal action to enforce the regulation.

The operation was initiated by the Bali provincial government in order to prevent Covid-19 transmissions from surging in some regions on the island such as Denpasar and Badung. The Covid-19 Handling Task Force reported an increase in Covid-19 cases in Bali recently. Meanwhile the Head of North Kuta Police Department, AKP Putu Diah confirmed that most of the offenders who violated prevention protocols in North Kuta were the expats.

“Despite the higher level of compliance in following the prevention protocols, we still found multiple offenders during our operation in North Kuta, and most of them were the foreign nationals.” AKP Putu Diah said on Tuesday (22/6). She also reminds that Covid-19 vaccine does not guarantee that people are free from the virus transmission.

“We also want to educate the people that vaccinated residents could still transmit the virus to other people, so we will not tolerate any disobedience.” AKP Putu concluded. (thebalisun.com 26/06/2021)

Eight dead, several missing in Bali ferry accident

At least eight people died and several more are missing after a passenger ferry sank off the coast of Bali, Indonesian authorities said on Tuesday (June 29), in the latest maritime accident to hit the archipelago.

The KMP Yunicee had 76 passengers and crew aboard on a trip from East Java to the holiday island when the accident happened as the ferry tried to dock, authorities said.

Some 44 people were rescued as the vessel sank while another six died in the accident, with three more missing, they said.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

“At the moment we are focusing on rescue and evacuation – that’s our main priority,” transport ministry spokesman Adita Irawati told broadcaster Metro TV.

Marine accidents are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, where many use ferries and other boats to travel despite poor safety standards. (straitstimes.com 30/06/2021)

Indonesia Allows Use of the Sinovac Vaccine on Children

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that Indonesia would start vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 years against Covid-19 using Coronavac, a vaccine made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech after Indonesia’s drug supervisory authority greenlight its use on children.

BPOM [the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency] gave the green light after reviewing clinical trials phase I and II result, which shows no fever among the studies subjects of 12-17 years old after receiving the vaccine. The agency said that a 30 percent mortality rate among 10 to 18 years old Covid-19 patients also contributed to its latest recommendation.

Children under 18 years now account for one in eight Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, according to data collected by the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) said last week.

Dwi Oktavia, the head of the disease prevention and control division at Jakarta’s provincial health department, called for parents to be more protective of their children.

“It is imperative for parents to take care of their children more strictly and avoid leaving the house with them. Just do activities at home with your children,” Dwi said. (jakartaglobe.id 30/06/2021)