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Image: Dewa Made Indra at the regular video press conference. Credit: Youtube.

From the latest stats, the biggest risk in the spread of Covid-19 on the island of Bali is the flow of returning Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI), while from the 92 positive cases, as of Tuesday evening (4/14), only 10 people were infected by local transmission.

According to the Head of the Bali COVID-19 Task Force, Dewa Made Indra with this level of local transmission, the implementation of a total lockdown is still inappropriate.

“Should we close Bali for all if the local transmissions only amount to 10 people? The risk is too great,” said Dewa Indra in Denpasar, Wednesday afternoon (15/4).

According to him, local transmission rates can continue to be suppressed if everyone on the island continues using masks, washing their hands, keeping a distance and reducing activities outside the home.

Right now, even when there is an ongoing increase in numbers, it is mostly coming from PMI. He said that it was a legitimate point some people have expressed that it may have been better for Bali to lock down earlier when there were only a few local transmission cases. But it is not that simple.

“As a logic, that’s fine. However, we have to compare the risks faced with the costs a decision like that incurs. The risk until now is 10 people contracting the virus within the community, but if you apply the lock down, 4.2 million Balinese will be affected by it,” he explained.

With a lock down situation, continued Dewa Indra, restrictions on activities are enforced and the community, including those who rely on daily income, would not be able to work.

That means, they will be affected very seriously with a lock down. The government would indeed be obliged to provide at least food or food assistance.

But keep in mind, life is not just a basic food business. “The proposal is good but the timing is not right, because the cost we will pay is too great. Not only economic costs, but also it will cause food distribution problems, social problems and problems with the economy,” said Dewa Indra, who is also the secretary of the Bali provincial government.

When examined, Dewa Indra said, the policy of handling COVID-19 in Bali actually follows the direction of the national policies and the level of risk development. That is, policies flow following the needs on the ground.

However, it is not impossible that Bali will go there if there is an escalation of positive cases. When the time comes, the Bali provincial government is said to be ready.

The hope is to keep the local transmissions suppressed. In regard to the biggest source of risk, namely the PMI return flow, a monitoring and tightened inspection strategy has been instated at the entrances to the island.

Ngurah Rai Airport, for example, is on guard 24 hours. Rapid tests are no longer focused solely on international arrivals, but also on domestic arrivals.

Then at Gilimanuk Harbor, every migrant from an infected area in Java was also subjected to a rapid test in addition to a body temperature check and a travel history interview. If the results are positive, then they are immediately sent back.

(There were two more local transmission cases announced last night by the Covid-19 task force, bringing the total to 12 people. Ed)

Showing 5 comments


  • BaliRob

    I do not know where this Official and the Seminyak Times was EIGHT WEEKS AGO when the majority of companies employing DAILY WORKERS
    shut up shop. Because those companies had employees, for the most part,who were living HAND TO MOUTH and had no money to talk of
    on the day of the general closure. We had reports of Denpasar organising a FOOD BANK some two weeks where starving citizens could collect a box of basic foods once a week. OH YES ?? AND HOW DID ONE QUALIFY FOR THIS – YES, REGISTER ONLINE that’s right and then lost
    in the flood of applications. Where was the assistance given for these employees to go home to various islands ???!!! Don’t ask me for PROOF
    just any ex-pat living IN THE COMMUNITY not in the Ivory Towers of UBUD who pontificate on Facebook saying all is well and say they are helping everybody in need. I know because I have run out of money helping with as many requests that I could. And was being called ‘evil’ when I could help no more – that is how desperate these now unemployed workers are. The Governor should bear in mind that Bali has the lowest number of deaths per capita probably in the world and should EXERCISE THE GREATEST CARE WHEN HANDLING THESE SHIPS OF POTENTIAL DEATH
    arriving on our doorstep which could seriously damage that status.

  • Mark

    Every resident in the world has the right to return home, so where is your doorstep?

  • Steven Baldwin MD

    It is all about the same old story again … What the government doesn’t want to hear, simply doesn’t excist …
    The most stupid assumption that there are ‘only’ 12 local transmission cases on Bali, is based on absolute lies. The government likes to downplay all the numbers, in their efforts to save the economy from further disaster.
    The fact is that there were many more positive cases on Bali, both foreign and locally transmitted cases. There have been many more ‘unexplained and suspicious’ deaths than normal as well. Don’t forget that for
    many months there were NO test kit’s available and even now with a very limited nr. of kits available, the
    MAJORITY of suspected cases are not officially being tested. Too expensive! Speaking to good willing Doctors
    on the island, the picture looks far more grim and unfortunately points at many more cases to come, since social
    distancing seems to be only enforced upon the bule population and loads of non tested cruise ship crews that
    will be allowed back to the country via Bali. So eventhough Bali certainly has not the lowest number of deaths per
    capita in this crisis, as some people want us to believe, the government should at least make sure that all returning
    crew is seriously tested and quarantained for at least 3 weeks.

  • hadodi

    I do not understand. How stupid you must be to think that it will not spread like everywhere else! Trump, this idiot, made a bad example what happens if you do not react in time.

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