The Jakarta Post
Foreign tourists walk along Berawa Beach in Badung, Bali, on June 19. (Antara/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo)
Hundreds of people who are part of the Healthy Archipelago Society (Manusa) staged a rally around the Bajra Sandhi monument in Denpasar, Bali, on Sunday, protesting the administration's policy of requiring rapid and swab tests for administrative and travel purposes.
According to a statement, the society's spokesman Made Krisna Dinata pointed out that rapid and swab test results could not guarantee a person did not have COVID-19.
“[This was] shared by the Association of Indonesia's Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine specialists [PDS PatKLIn],” added Dinata.
Among the protesters were Jerinx, drummer of Bali based punk rock band Superman is Dead (SID), who has been outspoken in his antivaccine and antimask stance since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as singer Leeyonk Sinatra.
Without donning face masks or physically distancing, Jerinx and the protesters marched from Renon square to Bajra Sandhi.
MENJADI MANUSA! AKSI BALI TOLAK RAPID/SWAB! @vlaminora on stage jam 10 @leeyonk_sinatraofficial jam 9 Follow @menjadimanusa yang akan menjadi gerakan perlawanan NYATA rakyat terhadap pembodohan & bisnis ketakutan! #MANUSA #MasyarakatNusantaraSehat #TrueNormal #OtotKawatTulangBesiOrangSehatIkutAksi #TrueHuman #TrueLove #TrueImmune #WeFightForTrueNormal Kamu bisa dukung gerakan pembagian makan gratis di @twice_bar yg sudah berjalan TIAP HARI sejak 4 Juni 2020 dgn membeli kaos #BaliTolakRapid (ke @wahpino__) & #IndonesiaTolakRapid (ke @royparsua)
The Bali governor issued a circular on July 5 on a new policy requiring swab or rapid tests for travelers. According to the circular, the tests are compulsory for all people staying at boarding houses, villas and rented house, as well as workers at traditional markets and in tourism, hotels and restaurants.
Similarly, the Bali health and tourism agencies issued circulars that stated that tourism-related businesses must pay for rapid tests for their staff in order to obtain "new normal" certification.
Tourism is the island’s main economic sector. In 2019, 6.3 million international tourists visited the island, accounting for 39 percent of all international tourists visiting the country.
Bali Governor I Wayan Koster announced on July 22 that the world famous resort island would reopen its borders for international tourists on Sept. 11 under strict health protocols.
As of Sunday, Bali had recorded 3,157 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,489 recoveries and 48 deaths. (gis/kes)
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