Health official says COVID-19 cases in Bali have not been traced back to extended holidays

Photo for illustration purpose only. A scene taken in Seminyak before the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay
Photo for illustration purpose only. A scene taken in Seminyak before the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay

Bali’s top health official says COVID-19 cases in the province have not been linked to extended holidays, after a minister highlighted the region’s recent case spike and warned against allowing crowded gatherings.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan on Monday pointed to Bali’s increasing weekly average, from 386 cases between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, to 823 cases between Nov. 25 and 30.

“I want all of us to agree that there should be no more crowds for whatever reason for the time being,” Luhut said.

The chief of Bali’s Health Agency, I Ketut Suarjaya, noted the link between potential crowds and extended holidays, but said that coronavirus cases on the island have not been traced back to recent long weekends, such as the one in late October.

“We have seen, after about a week or two after long holidays it turns out cases in Bali did not increase,” Suarjaya told reporters yesterday. 

“Based on our analysis. [Case spikes] are firstly from traditional ceremonies in Bali. I am not blaming anyone, it’s just the reality. There’s been a lot of traditional ceremonies, it’s the season for weddings, funerals, and the likes.” 

He further explained that cases have arisen from hospital and office clusters, as well as confirmed cases among election officers for the upcoming regional elections. In addition, Suarjaya said contact tracing from confirmed COVID-19 patients have also contributed to the provincial caseload. 

Indonesian officials yesterday announced the cancellation of three collective leave days between Christmas and New Year this year, following concerns that an extended end-of-year break may lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. The country recorded its highest daily count of 6,267 on Nov. 29.  

Related ⁠— Indonesia’s end-of-year break officially shortened by 3 days amid rising COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, Bali has now reported more than 14,000 coronavirus cases, which includes 435 deaths as of yesterday.

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