Over 600,000 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Bali so far, as the province continues to accelerate its vaccination efforts in order to potentially reopen the island to foreign tourists later in July.
As of yesterday afternoon, data from Indonesia’s Health Ministry showed that nearly 610,000 have received their first jab of the vaccine. Of that number, more than 166,000 have received their second dose.
Last month, Indonesian officials announced a possible plan to reopen Bali in a few months’ time, as they work toward the establishment of “green zones” and travel corridor programs with other countries, in a bid to revive Bali’s tourism-dependent economy. The latest push to vaccinate 70 percent of the island’s 4.32 million population, is an integral part of the plan, Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, also known as Cok Ace, said on Saturday.
“From pollings conducted by a number of travel magazines, Bali is still the top destination that is very missed by foreign travelers,” Cok Ace said, adding that officials have also been coordinating with international organizations such as UNESCO and WHO to make Bali a host of their annual meetings.
Despite the growing enthusiasm, a senior minister said earlier this month that Bali may experience a two-month delay in its mass vaccination program as a result of international export restrictions, which will therefore push back the reopening timeline. Furthermore, five regions in Bali were designated as high-risk COVID-19 “red zones” as of April 11, according to Indonesia’s COVID-19 Task Force.