Authorities in Bali have today conducted a mass spraying of disinfectant around the island’s tourist areas in a bid to kill off coronavirus.
It comes as all schools in Denpasar and Jakarta will close for two weeks from Monday and have put exams on hold in a bid to halt the spread of the virus and as Indonesia announces that one of is Government ministers is in hospital with COVID-19.
National exams were due to begin tomorrow and will now be suspended.
Twelve Australians are also stranded on a surf boat in Sumba, with authorities refusing to allow them to disembark.
Bali, who derives the majority of its income from tourism, is now expected to be hard-hit by Australia’s announcement that all overseas travellers must self-quarantine for 14 days after travel given that it will likely see a massive drop in travellers.
With the banning of all flights to and from China to Bali, the tourist industry has been bleeding income. China was Bali’s biggest tourist market, followed by Australia and authorities have been counting on Australians to continue travelling to prop up the economy.
Indonesia so far has just 96 confirmed cases of COVID-19, despite the sprawling nation having a total population of 270 million. Among the 96 cases are five deaths, including that of 53-year-old British woman Kimberley Finlayson, who passed away in a Bali hospital last week while on a holiday with her husband.
Mrs Finlayson had pre-existing medical problems which exacerbated her condition and saw her death in Sanglah hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Her husband Ken, who founded a well-known and much awarded dental publishing company in the UK and with whom she work, was with her.
He too was held in isolation in Sanglah hospital but has since tested negative to COVID-19.
Despite the low number of confirmed positive cases it is widely believed many more in Indonesia are infected with the virus but have not been tested.