Local News

Bali Elementary School Children Will Receive Covid-19 Vaccinations This December

Authorities from the Health Agency will start distributing Covid-19 vaccines to elementary school children by the 14th of December 2021.

The Head of Bali Health Agency, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, confirmed that the Bali provincial government would soon start distributing Covid-19 vaccines to elementary school children.
“We will start vaccinating children 6 to 11 years old by the day after tomorrow,” said Dr. Suarjaya during a virtual meeting on Sunday (12/12).
Authorities from Badung and Tabanan, who previously planned to distribute the vaccine for elementary school children by January 2022, have to run this vaccination program earlier than expected. Following the latest Home Affairs Minister’s Instruction, the Health Minister recently instructed them that they’re required to start this program once Bali reaches 70 percent of their vaccination target.

A total of 398,743 elementary school children from Badung, Denpasar, Bangli, Tabanan, Karangasem, Jembrana, Gianyar, Buleleng and Klungkung are scheduled to receive Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac. This vaccination program will be conducted in appointed medical facilities and schools across the island. (thebalisun.com 14/12/2021)


Spanish National Arrested For Growing Cannabis In His Bali Villa

Authorities from the Badung Police department have arrested an expat who had been growing cannabis at his villa in Bali.
The Head of the Badung Police Department, AKBP Leo Dedy Defretes, confirmed that a Spanish national with the initials GASV was arrested for growing cannabis at a villa in Jalan Gang Rambutan Tibubeneng, North Kuta Badung.
“The suspect was arrested from his villa on Tuesday (30/11) for growing illegal plants in Bali,” AKBP Defretes said during a press conference on Thursday (9/12).
The investigation began when officers were notified about the importation of cannabis seeds from a man in Barcelona, Spain to Bali. During the investigation, all the information led the officers to the suspect.
Shortly after, the police searched the suspect’s villa. They found cannabis that were planted with a hydroponics system inside his villa.
“Most of the plants were two months old, and the suspect planned to harvest them by the end of December,” AKBP Defretes added. The suspect, who has been staying for over 20 years in Bali, is also allegedly involved in drug trafficking on the island.
“The suspect has been detained along with the evidence. The investigation regarding his involvement to drug trafficking in Bali is still underway,” AKBP Defretes concluded.


Early tsunami warning after 7.4-magnitude quake struck Indonesia’s Flores Sea

An early tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Maluku, South and Southeast Sulawesi, as well as the Nusa Tenggara islands, after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake was recorded in the Flores Sea this morning.
The quake’s epicenter was 113 kilometers northwest of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). It hit at a depth of 10 kilometers at 11:20am, according to Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
Aftershocks measuring 5.6-magnitude and 5.5-magnitude followed around the same area on the Flores Sea at 11:41am and 11:47am respectively.
At the time of publication, the situation around the at-risk areas has yet to show signs of rising seawater, though residents in the area are still advised to remain cautious. (coconuts.co 14/12/2021)


Ukrainian woman arrested in Bali for skimming IDR325 million from victims in North Sulawesi

Police in Bali have arrested a Ukrainian woman for her alleged role in an ATM card skimming case, as authorities look into the possibility of a network carrying out the financial scam across Indonesia.
The suspect, identified as 33-year-old BK, is accused of stealing around IDR325 million (US$22,645) from at least two victims.
“The suspect illegally withdrew [money] using transfer and payment methods from the [victims’ accounts] to a virtual account,” Ary Satryan, who heads the general crimes unit at the Bali Police, said in a statement.
Ary said BK uses a magnetic card – which mimics the victims’ ATM card info – that she obtained from another possible suspect, identified as MX.
Police were alerted to the crime after two people from South Sulawesi reported missing money from their accounts, leading to an internal investigation by the bank that saw peculiar transactions being made in Bali. CCTV recording at the ATM vestibules revealed that those transactions were conducted by someone else, which eventually led to BK’s arrest at her villa in Badung regency.
“BK never took the money in cash, and she always changed her clothes,” Ary said.
“This Ukrainian national is not the main suspect, she is the suspect who withdrew the money. We are still developing the case to find out who is giving instructions to BK.”
According to Ary, BK has not stayed in Bali for very long, and with recent arrests made in Yogyakarta and Surabaya, police suspect that she may be part of a bigger skimming network.
She faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, as she has been charged with violation of articles under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP) and Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE). (coconuts.co 14/12/2021)


Flash floods inundate Nusa Penida island this morning

Homes are flooded and roads are blocked by water in Nusa Penida island this morning, in what is reportedly the worst flood that the region has seen.
“At this time, several areas in Nusa Penida are experiencing flooding,” Nusa Penida District Head, I Komang Widiasa Putra, said today.
The Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) in Klungkung started getting reports of flooding at 3am today, as residences and roads are inundated not only with water, but also mud, rocks, and wood.
Several public facilities, including roads and at least one bridge, were reportedly damaged due to the flooding and subsequent mudslides. Officials have yet to tally damages from the disaster. (coconuts.co 14/12/2021)


Bali Tourism Association Plans Rally Against Current Travel Restrictions

The tourism association in Bali plan to rally against the current travel requirements, which contribute to the tourism sector’s struggle to survive.

The Head of the Bali Tourism Board, IB Agung Partha Adnyana, confirmed that he plans to rally against the travel requirements which hinder international travelers from visiting the island.
“We’ve sent an open letter to the president 3 weeks ago and proposed a revision to this travel policy, but we haven’t received any response from him. If they keep ignoring us until the end of December, we plan to rally against the policy,” Adnyana said.
Adnyana stated that he has been communicating this rally with all the tourism stakeholders on the island. They plan to do it in early January 2021. “This letter has an expiry date, so we will likely do this on January. 52% of Bali’s GDP is dependant on tourism and people can’t wait any longer,” Adnyana added.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Bali Marginal Tourism Alliance, I Wayan Puspanegara, stated that this step was initiated to save the Bali economy from prolonged crisis.
Puspanegara explained that many laid-off workers from hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have been waiting for an actual open-border policy that will allow international visitors to visit the island with ease. However, he also stated that the rally shouldn’t cause any more chaos during this difficult time.
“Despite rallying during this partial lockdown implementation, we’ll keep complying with prevention protocols. Most tourism workers are vaccinated. Besides, we’ve already lost our patience as we haven’t seen any international tourists while many people and businesses are dying,” Puspanegara concluded. (thebalisun.com 12/12/2021)


Traders & Masseurs on Kuta Beach Scolded

The traditional chief of Kuta Village in Bali, I Wayan Wasista, has warned masseurs and traders working on Kuta Beach to be friendly and stop bullying tourist visitors enjoying the Beach.
As reported by NusaBali.com, Wasista says irresponsible traders and masseurs on Bali’s iconic Beach are damaging the image of Bali tourism. The Village Chief said that as Christmas and New Year approaches, the number of tourist visitors to Kuta’s Beach is sure to increase.
And, while Wasista hoped the growing tourist numbers would improve the income of beach workers, he added: “I hope that the traders and masseurs on Kuta Beach become more friendly and not try to force visiting tourists in selling their goods and services.”
Wasista said that several recent incidents on Kuta Beach, documented on social media, should serve as an object lesson to prevent the image of the beach area from being damaged by irresponsible individuals. Adding: “Because of this, we urge all traders and masseurs on Kuta to not allow a repetition of incidents such as those seen on social media. Don’t let there be coercion and the arbitrary setting of prices at unfair levels.”
In his capacity as traditional village chief, Wasista is threatening to revoke the membership cards of traders and masseurs issued by the village and needed to operate on Kuta Beach.
“If tourists experience future harassment, they are welcome to report the Kuta Beach Task Force. If we can verify their reports, then the trader or masseur will be suspended, and they will not be allowed to work on the Beach in the future,” said Wasista.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Kuta Beach Task Force (Satgas Pantai Kuta), Wayan Sirna, has confirmed that additional remedial steps have been taken to improve the manner and professionalism of traders on the Beach. All beachside traders have been called together and given a briefing on friendliness and good service so visitors’ enjoyment of Kuta Beach will not be disturbed.
Traders were also cautioned to stick to their declared fields of trade and not offer services outside their designated specialty.
“Recently, there have been problems caused by the lack of visitors. For example, traders who should only be selling cloth now offer massage services. It’s things like that that we insist be returned to their original state. In addition, we have asked that traders remain in their respective designated zones,” said Sirna.  (balidiscovery.com 13/12/2021)