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Increase In Bali Covid Cases Blamed On Foreigners Not Wearing Masks

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Bali’s Covid-19 Task Force has announced a slight increase in positive cases in Bali over the course of this week. Speaking to local news outlets the Covid-19 Task Force announced that in the last three days, since Tuesday 21st June, there as been over 100 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 in the Canggu area. 

The local task force has been open about why they think there has been a surge in cases, the Head of Bali’s Provincial Health Office, I Nyoman Gede Anom, told local reporters that they believe ‘free’ foreigners are to blame for the increase in transmissions. 

Speaking on Thursday 23rd June Anom said that there have been many foreigners who have been testing positive in the last week, especially in Canggu. He went on to explain that one of the reasons why so many foreigners were testing positive is because of their lack of discipline in wearing masks.

He said because other countries have scrapped mask mandates that foreigners feel ‘free’ and that ‘our people are disciplined to wear masks’ because they had to wear them in the past. 

Anom did not touch on how the recent scrapping of the mask mandate in outdoor settings may have slowly begun to influence positive case numbers. The mask mandate has been scrapped in outdoor areas since 17th May 2022 and this has been the case for all people in Bali. He did not offer any other reasons for the rise in cases that could in fact be attributed to many other factors. 

It is unlikely that one single factor has caused this week’s increases in caseloads. On the 17th of May Indonesia also scrapped the pre-arrival PCR test for vaccinated travelers meaning symptomless positive cases could be entering the country undetected. Domestic tourists have never had to test before travel and make up the majority of visitor to Bali since reopening in February.

As the tourism sector has continued to open up, thousands of people have headed back to work and the movement of people across the island has increased considerably too. 

On the 8th of June 2022, the central government reduced Bali to Covid-19 restriction level one which enabled the retail sector to operate at 100% capacity again, which also may have influenced the number of positive cases. Bali has recently celebrated the auspicious Galungan and Kuningan festivals where families and communities gather to worship the triumph of dharma over adharma. All of these factors could have influenced the rise in localized cases. 

Many argue that Anom’s pointing of the finger at tourists, without mention of other plausible reasons, could have a detrimental knock-on effect on the tourism sector. Though his comments will do little to deter visitors who are already on the island, his comments go somewhat against the open and welcoming environment the Bali tourism sector is working hard to offer visitors. 

Anom’s statements are not to be ignored however, tourists, international residents, and locals are all required to follow the Covid-19 mandates even if fully vaccinated unless they are medically exempt. The mask mandate is still in place in an indoor public setting and on public transport.

He has urged the public to continue to adhere to the restrictions that remain in place to ensure that Bali continues to move out of the pandemic. In the present caseloads remain clinically under control. Anom and other Covid-19 Task Force leaders have urged the public to get their second and booster vaccines. They have asked that people wear masks if they are experiencing a cold or flu and to be extra cautious around the elderly and those who are living with Covid-19 comorbidities. 

According to Bali’s Provincial Health Office on Thursday 23rd there were 56 new cases of Covid-19 in. Canggu, 18 of which were foreigners. On Wednesday there were 51 new cases in the Canggu area, 21 of which were foreigners.  

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Djeis

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Canggu foreigners have no discipline to anything. It's the most retarded tourists anyone could get, lower quality than even before. It's quickly becoming a new Kuta.

Randy

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Djeis, actually they do not like the Jakarta cosmopolitan young snobs coming into their turf. The generation Z foreigners (anyone born in 1996 and the early-mid 2000's) had created a Western gentrification sort of like in Canggu. The worst congested place with two roads access into Canggu. A few Establishments in Canggu are planning to move to the Jimbaran area. That would be a continued nightmare.

Ralph

Saturday 25th of June 2022

They have to move on from this covid obsession. People are getting infected, so what? Nobody's dying. Would worry more about alcohol and food poisoning in Bali along with Dengue fever and all sorts of others diseases. Getting in a traffic accident, drowning, etc.

Wayan Bo

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Ralph, unfortunately too many are passing away because of Covid, much more as reported. Especially Covid’s side effects are boosting mortality rates without becoming official Covid statistic notes.

Wayan Bo

Saturday 25th of June 2022

If charging those who don’t wear double mask with US $ 200 covid decrease will probably work.

Ralph

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Wayan Bo, You haven't a clue how this virus or how any respiratory virus transmits but would recommend you wear a triple mask just in case but in the interest of the community please link to any study that show masks work with covid.

Neil gill

Saturday 25th of June 2022

All international travellers must have all injections before entering, but the migrant workers throughout Indonesia arriving in thethousands to the advantage of tourist can now arrive without any covid restrictions..... Think about it. It is internal not external

Randy

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Neil gill, that's not entirely true at all. I know locals in Bali who had to hire people from Java. They were vaccinated and took the covid tests to enter Bali. They came by bus and ferry only to find the health inspectors were not present to check documents at the crossing in the early morning.

No one is above the law and no one is immune to Covid -19. There is blame to go all around for rising cases regardless of your nationality, your skin color, your ethnicity, your sexual orientation, your gender or your religious affiliation.

Paul Morris

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Neil gill, just like blaming the tourists for all the rubbish everywhere and guess what it’s the locals who have been causing the problem all these years not the tourists.

Michael

Saturday 25th of June 2022

The Head of Bali’s Provincial Health Office, I Nyoman Gede Anom is not a very bright person. There are many studies worldwide that say masks are virtually worthless in stopping this virus. Just from an engineering standpoint the virus particles are 250% smaller that the gaps in an N95 mask. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this. The Balinese dictatorship (it seems that is what you have) is out to destroy the people of Bali.

merc

Thursday 30th of June 2022

@Your mom, keep on believing those conspiracies bro

Your mom

Monday 27th of June 2022

@Randy, WRONG! LOL Masks are good for nothing but extra pollution. Educate yourself, boomer.

Randy

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Michael, Wrong!!! Masks can still help prevent the spread according to the CDC and WHO. Therefore according to you they may well be misinformed. Bali is now hosting any idiots who's job is to destroy what it started to keep it safe in the first place. You may well be an unvaccinated person that has written in the past to vent your frustration. Your unknown status has prevented from visiting Bali.

Wayan Bo

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Michael, ABC masks may be the better protection but it’s better to have any protection than not any. There are also masks with higher dense available. Even pilots in cockpit have to wear mask, for example by Cathay Pacific Cargo. Lufthansa is canceling 2k flights because of Covid infected crews and their medical certificates in form of sick notes.

merc

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Michael, you sound so smart why didn't we just listen to you in March 2020. Also brush up on what an actual dictatorship.