With the Christmas and New Year holidays just around the corner, Bali has recorded 33 new COVID-19 cases in December 2023.
According to data compiled by the Bali Health Agency, Badung emerged as the area with the highest number of cases, at 13. Jembrana followed with six cases, Karangasem with eight, and Buleleng with one.
Five other cases were detected in Denpasar. Thankfully, the patients have since recovered.
While contact tracing is ongoing, Wayan Widya, Head of the Disease Prevention and Control of the Bali Health Agency, acknowledged that a travel history investigation has not yet been conducted.
“We haven’t gotten to that point yet,” he confirmed yesterday as quoted by Kompas.
Separately, Bali Health Agency Head Nyoman Gede Anom urged the public to remain vigilant and adhere to health protocols.
“Wear masks, wash your hands, and maintain social distance when going out,” Anom advised.
On the other hand, he also encouraged people to not go into panic mode, while urging residents who are due for their booster shots to get vaccinated immediately.
Recognizing the potential need for increased vaccination efforts, the Bali Health Agency has requested around 5,000 doses of the Inavac vaccine from the Ministry of Health.
“We are prepared and have requested 5,000 doses of the Inavac vaccine from the central government for booster shots. This is in anticipation of increased public interest in vaccination, which often rises after news of positive cases emerges,” Anom explained.
The recent surge in Bali mirrors a broader trend across Southeast Asia, with Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines also experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases, as reported by local sources.
Proactively addressing this concerning development, the Ministry of Health has issued a circular urging vigilance against a potential COVID-19 surge.
The circular instructs health care centers to continue providing vaccination services and emphasizes the importance of local governments ensuring the availability of vaccines and other essential resources.
As the festive season approaches, Bali authorities say they remain committed to safeguarding public health and mitigating the risk of further COVID-19 spread.
The economy of the tourism-reliant Bali was heavily devastated when the pandemic hit in March 2020, forcing the authorities to close down the island from international flights.