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Jakarta Post

French national found dead on Bali sidewalk tests positive for COVID-19

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Sat, March 21, 2020   /   12:27 pm
French national found dead on Bali sidewalk tests positive for COVID-19 Health workers wearing protective gear take part in an exercise in handling a suspected patient at Sanglah hopital in Denpasar, Indonesia's resort island of Bali, on February 12, 2020. - The number of fatalities from China's COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,113 nationwide on February 12 after another 97 deaths were reported by the national health commission. (AFP/Sony Tumbelaka)

Balinese authorities have confirmed that a French national who died on the resort island six days ago tested positive for COVID-19 post-mortem.

His body was found on top of a motorcycle on a sidewalk on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Denpasar on Sunday.  

“It was the foreign national who was found on Jl. Imam Bonjol,” Sanglah Hospital official I Ketut Sudartana told The Jakarta Post on Saturday . “It was confirmed after a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test that he was coronavirus-positive.”

It was initially thought that the 72-year-man had a seizure and died of a heart attack. His body was recovered by medical workers wearing hazmat suits. 

“We are now communicating with the [French] consulate general regarding his cremation,” the head of Bali's COVID-19 taskforce, Dewa Made Indra, said, adding that the consulate would contact his family.

Reports of the circumstances of the French national’s death came amid concerns that Bali has been underreporting COVID-19 cases. As of Friday, Bali reported only four confirmed cases, none of which were cases of local transmission, officials said. 

The first case was a British national who died at Sanglah Hospital. Like the French national, she was confirmed to have had the coronavirus after her death. The other two cases are Balinese residents who returned from Italy and Jakarta, two regions that are struggling to contain the virus. 

Experts have said that the low number of cases was “scientifically odd”.   

Bali has been hit hard by the global pandemic, which has hurt global tourism. 

However, the resort island only decided to close its tourist sites yesterday after an instruction from the central government. It also decided to limit congregational rituals for Nyepi (Day of Silence). (mfp)

Editor's note:

The article has been updated to correct the attribution of the first direct quote.


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak