A large group of people took to the streets of Bali yesterday with no masks on to protest the use of rapid tests and swab tests for profit.
The group alleges that the health protocols for testing were introduced to make a profit off of Covid-19.
The protest was organized by Masyarakat Nusantara Sehat (MANUSA), a group comprising Democratic Front of the People’s Struggle (Frontier) Bali and the Bali Community Against Rapid, which called on the public to join them in the protest on Sunday morning.
“We are educating the public so that they know and criticize the government’s policy that requires rapid tests and swab tests as an administrative requirement,” protest coordinator Krishna Dinata told Coconuts.
The organizers do admit that COVID-19 is real but emphasized that people need to stand up against those who are using the pandemic to profit.
The protesters did not practice social distancing or wear masks.
Bali punk rock musician I Gede Ari Astina AKA Jerinx of the band Superman is Dead (SID), who has been sprouting conspiracy theories about the coronavirus attended the event.
The Bali government enforced new test requirements on a circular dated July 5, in which those traveling to and from other provinces in Indonesia are required to present a negative rapid test, and also requiring tourist destinations to conduct rapid tests for staff and sellers in the area.
New requirements for rapid tests across the country have sparked allegations allegations that the rapid tests have been turned into profit-making ventures.
The Indonesian Ombudsman earlier this month urged the central government to review regulations on COVID-19 rapid tests, saying that they should be free of charge or at least subsidized.