Despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Bali, the island has no intention of implementing large-scale social restrictions similar to those that are enforced in Greater Jakarta to stop the virus transmission.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster claimed that Bali had yet to face a situation where such restrictions would be essential to apply, citing that the province had not even reached a high number of local transmissions.
In a Monday press conference, Koster said implementing the large-scale restrictions would require at least two conditions.
“First, the region would need to record many COVID-19 cases. Second, the spread of the virus would need to be high and have a big potential to cause fatalities and other misfortunes.
“For Bali, referring to such requirements and my calculations […], it is not yet the time [for us to implement the restrictions]. We’re still quite far [from such conditions],” said Koster, who is an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician.
He went on to say that Bali at the moment was not at the level of Jakarta, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia with a high number of local transmissions. Koster said he was certain that the number of local transmissions in Bali was still low.
Out of 81 cases recorded as of Monday, Koster claimed that only eight cases were caused by local transmission.
“Most of the cases here are imported cases. Only eight people contracted COVID-19 through local transmission. I check the situation on a daily basis. The amount of local transmission is very small, in my opinion,” he added.
Koster’s reasoning was based on what happened in Jakarta.
“In Jakarta, the total number has reached 2,000 cases, and mostly from local transmission.
“The capital is also connected with neighboring areas with high cases such as Banten, West Java — including Bogor and Bekasi — as well as Central Java,” he said.
Koster claimed it was relatively easy to control the spread of COVID-19 in Bali as it is a small island. Nevertheless, his administration has applied limited access at all gates of Bali.
The province is also focusing on repatriating thousands of Balinese migrant workers, considering that many COVID-19 cases were found in migrant workers who had just come home from working abroad.