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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Bali declares state of emergency as cases climb, local transmission detected

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Tue, March 31, 2020   /   11:14 am
COVID-19: Bali declares state of emergency as cases climb, local transmission detected A shopper walks pass a board announcing supermarket opening hours on Monday. Many shopping centers and supermarkets are shortening their opening hours to reduce crowds and prevent further spread of COVID-19. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

Bali has declared a state of emergency by imposing stricter measures on visitors in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to climb with local transmission detected.

With the status, the famous resort island will tighten checks at entrance gates and enforce a 14-day self-quarantine for all people entering the island, the Bali administration’s regional secretary Dewa Made Indra said.

The decision was taken by Bali Governor Wayan Koster after a meeting with the COVID-19 task force on Monday. The administration took into consideration the growing number of cases of the highly contagious viral disease on the island and confirmed local transmission cases.

The number of cases climbed 90 percent in a single day, with nine new cases on Monday, bringing the tally to 19. Among the new people who tested positive, eight are Indonesian and one is a foreign national, Dewa said.

“With the status, the administration, police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and other elements can carry out stricter efforts to prevent COVID-19. This is important to give stronger protection to Bali residents,” Dewa, who is also the chairman of Bali’s COVID-19 task force said on Monday.

The administration had previously issued an advisory level of Siaga (watch) for the province from March 16 to 30 in its effort to stem the spread of the respiratory illness that has dealt a blow to tourism on the island.

Dewa further said the task force had recorded cases of local transmission, the first on Bali after only having reported imported cases.

“There have been three cases of local transmission. This means the virus has been transmitted between people on the island,” he said.

Among the three cases, one is a nurse who handled a patient infected with the viral disease, highlighting the high risk of transmission faced by medical workers amid a shortage of protective gear across the country.