Indonesia likely to postpone reopening of Bali to foreign tourists

Indonesia likely to postpone reopening of Bali to foreign tourists

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has hinted that the government will likely delay opening Bali to foreign tourists following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“When it comes to Bali, I think you can answer it yourself. It is impossible to reopen it (in the near future), given the (presence of the) Delta (variant of COVID-19 in the country),” he said at an online press conference on the implementation of emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM) in Jakarta on Thursday.

The Indonesian government is currently focusing on handling the COVID-19 pandemic, he said adding, it will implement emergency PPKM in Java and Bali from July 3 – July 20, 2021.

“So we are not thinking of it (reopening Bali) anymore. At this moment, we are thinking of how to lower (COVID-19 cases) by inoculating as many people as possible and (ensure people are) following the health protocols. That is what we are doing now,” the minister informed.

In addition to tightening activities, the government will also intensify 3T (testing, tracing and treatment) activities during the emergency PPKM, he said. 

Contact tracing efforts will cover more than 15 people who have come in close contact with each confirmed COVID-19 patient, Pandjaitan said.

Meanwhile, the treatment of COVID-19 patients will be conducted comprehensively, in accordance with the severity of symptoms, he said.

Only people who develop moderate, serious, and critical symptoms will be treated at hospitals, while isolation rooms will be tightened to prevent transmission, he added.

“The government will continue to increase the number of vaccinated people. The vaccination target, which is currently pegged at 70 percent of the population for priority cities and districts, will be achieved by August, 2021 at the latest,” the minister assured.

The government is hoping to control the spike in infections and reduce daily infections by up to 10 thousand through the implementation of the emergency PPKM, he added.

“We hope that over the period of time, we will be able to reduce (COVID-19 cases) by up to less than 10 thousand or close to 10 thousand,” he remarked.  (ANT)

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