35 market vendors in Bangli regency test positive for coronavirus

A scene from Pasar Kidul before the pandemic. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan
A scene from Pasar Kidul before the pandemic. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan

Dozens of market vendors from Pasar Kidul in Bangli regency tested positive for the coronavirus, making them the latest cluster of COVID-19 cases from traditional markets in Bali.

The market is now temporarily closed until Thursday, during which time it will be sprayed with disinfectant and its operations reorganized, according to Bangli regent I Made Gianyar. 

Health officials said 35 market vendors tested positive for the coronavirus after rapid tests conducted last week led to 84 “reactive” results, subsequently prompting swab tests that confirmed the dozens of new COVID-19 cases from the market. 

Gianyar explained that operations in Pasar Kidul will now be reduced to half capacity, and sellers will be assigned to alternate days to sell their goods. 

“Basically we will reduce the market capacity by 50 percent for the market vendors. This allows us to organize physical distancing. Right now, under normal operating conditions, they are cramped and the potential for infections is much higher,” Gianyar said. 

Despite the dozens of cases confirmed in Pasar Kidul this week, however, a spokesman from the COVID-19 task force in Bangli said today that officials have yet to conduct tracing, citing a recent change in protocols. 

I Wayan Dirgayusa, the spokesman, noted that the 35 market vendors are now undergoing self-quarantine, and said that market vendors are required to show the results of a rapid test when business returns to normal at Pasar Kidul on Friday. 

Bali officials reported 101additional COVID-19 cases in the province yesterday, bringing the total to 2,358. 

Last month, dozens of market vendors from Pasar Galiran in Klungkung regency also tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting free mass rapid tests for more than 1,700 market vendors there while the market was closed for three days. 

Read Also Bali set to launch dedicated task force to prevent new COVID-19 clusters in traditional markets

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