Sanur Beach visitors required to take antigen rapid tests

File photo of a military officer placing a mask on a local resident in January. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
File photo of a military officer placing a mask on a local resident in January. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Authorities in Bali appear to be stepping up efforts to control coronavirus transmission in the province, with the latest attempt requiring Sanur Beach visitors to take antigen rapid tests before entering the area yesterday. 

According to Infantry Col. Made Alit Yudana from the Badung Military District, the tests are part of the ongoing Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM), which has been extended until at least Feb. 8.

“This is a follow-up from PPKM to suppress COVID-19 case spikes that have been increasing and are relatively high in Bali,” Made said in a statement released last night. 

Seventy-one visitors were tested yesterday, and the results came back positive for one person. The resident was not permitted to enter Sanur Beach, and was requested to undergo a PCR test. It is not immediately clear how authorities ensured that they would take the test. 

The screening operation, which began on Sunday and will last until at least the end of the current PPKM phase, is focused on enforcement rather than raising awareness, including by requiring the public to undergo antigen rapid tests. 

Officials say that some people refused to take the tests and instead chose to return to their homes. A rapid antigen test costs around IDR250K (US$17.82) and can produce a relatively accurate result in 15 minutes.

Bali recorded its highest daily COVID-19 cases last week as Indonesia passed the 1 million mark and reported the country’s highest daily death toll during the same period.

The provincial tally is at 26,304 cases as of this morning, with 3,551 people in treatment and 684 deaths.

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