Bali governor says recent spikes in COVID-19 cases not due to loose restrictions

Bali Governor Wayan Koster at an event in Denpasar on July 16. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
Bali Governor Wayan Koster at an event in Denpasar on July 16. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Bali Governor Wayan Koster denied that recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in the province resulted from loosened restrictions which began last Thursday, noting instead that the province’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak is going well. 

“The cases are from market clusters in Kumbasari, Padangsambian, Galiran and now in Bangli. I think it will be settled,” Koster said yesterday.

Related ⁠— 35 market vendors in Bangli regency test positive for coronavirus

Bali recorded the second-highest spike just yesterday since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, with 112 new COVID-19 cases that brought the provincial total to 2,533. It’s the second time in the past week since the province recorded over a hundred daily cases. 

The provincial government restarted activities within the island on July 9, which has seen a gradual return across different sectors under strict health protocols. Tourism and education are the two sectors that have yet to follow suit, though there are some exceptions, such as beaches located in Denpasar city and Badung regency which were reopened last week.

This is part of a tentative three-step plan under the so-called “new normal,” which includes opening up tourism to domestic tourists at the end of this month, and to foreign visitors on Sept. 11.

Officials will be evaluating the impact of the loosened restrictions thus far, though Koster said that the recent spike in COVID-19 cases were “not significant,” and is of the opinion that the restarting of activities have gone well so far.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article reported that 112 cases recorded on July 16 was the highest spike in Bali’s daily cases. The highest daily spike in Bali was 113 cases on July 2. We apologize for the error.  

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