‘COVID-19 is not a conspiracy’: Bali governor says over 20 of his home staff confirmed coronavirus positive

Bali Governor Wayan Koster at an event in Bedugul on Sept. 24, 2020. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
Bali Governor Wayan Koster at an event in Bedugul on Sept. 24, 2020. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Bali’s top official revealed yesterday that more than 20 of his staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the opportunity to plead with the public to comply with official instructions and regulations while adhering to existing health protocols.

“Let me just be open here, there’s no need to hide that in my own living area, in my official residence, more than 20 people tested positive for the coronavirus,” Bali Governor Wayan Koster said.

Koster said that while he has not been infected, all four of his aides have contracted the disease, as well as the waiters and gardeners at the residence, along with other staff members.

Though very likely, it is not immediately clear if Koster can be or has already been designated as a “contact” of confirmed COVID-19 patients according to guidelines put out by the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommend that all contacts be quarantined in a designated facility or at home for 14 days from their last exposure. 

What is clear, however, is that Koster is urging the public to take the pandemic seriously, highlighting those who have been impacted by the viral disease.

“So don’t take this lightly. If there’s anyone who said the coronavirus is a conspiracy, that is not true. There have been many victims, patients who are positively confirmed, patients who have died,” the governor continued, alluding to doubts among the Balinese public that COVID-19 is real. 

“So please follow what has been made into instructions and policy from the central, provincial, and regional government to implement health protocols,” he added.

Bali reported 119 additional cases yesterday, taking the provincial tally to 8,245. This includes 241 deaths and 1,250 patients currently in treatment. 

This month, Bali has been recording a significant surge in coronavirus cases, averaging more than 100 daily cases. The caseload spike was reported following the loosening of restrictions across the island, and its reopening to domestic tourism in July.

Officials have yet to impose a full lockdown, though incoming visitors are reportedly subject to stricter screening measures following the worrying development. 

Read Also Officials launch another ‘We Love Bali’ program to promote tourism amid COVID-19 pandemic

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