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Jakarta Post

Two Chinese tourists test negative for coronavirus in Bali

  • I Wayan Juniarta

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Sat, January 25, 2020   /   06:18 pm
Two Chinese tourists test negative for coronavirus in Bali An official monitors passengers using a thermal scanner at an arrival gate at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, on Jan. 22. The scanner was set up to detect a deadly coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan, China. (ANTARA FOTO/Fikri Yusuf)

Two Chinese tourists who had flu-like symptoms at Denpasar's Sanglah Central Hospital have tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus, the province's top health official announced Saturday afternoon.

“The result of laboratory tests on their swab samples came out negative for the coronavirus,” Bali Health Agency head Ketut Suarjaya told The Jakarta Post.

The tests were carried out at the Health Ministry's research and development center in Jakarta.

“Their conditions have improved considerably and they would be discharged from the hospital today. Their families have notified us that they would then immediately return to China,” he added.

The authority identified the tourists as a 6-year-old girl and her 3-year-old brother. Both were admitted to Sanglah on Wednesday night after displaying flu-like symptoms. The hospital staff rushed them to Nusa Indah Pavilion, the hospital's isolation ward for highly contagious diseases, before taking swab samples and administering medications.

The Chinese tourists hail from Shandong, a coastal province more than 900 kilometers from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

Suarjaya revealed another tourist from Mexico, formerly suspected of having the virus, had tested negative and had been released on Friday after being put under isolation at the same hospital for two days.

The Mexican national had lived in China for a long time before moving to the Philippines and later Jakarta. He arrived in Bali on Jan. 9 and reportedly complained of fever.

The coronavirus outbreak in China as well as confirmed cases in six other countries have prompted the local authority to mount preventive measures, including activating thermal scanners at the island's Ngurah Rai International Airport and placing all regional hospitals on alert.

In 2019, more than 1.1 million Chinese tourists visited Bali, making the country the second-biggest contributor of tourists to the island after Australia.