Bali has declared a state of emergency by imposing stricter measures on visitors in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to climb with local transmission detected.

With the status, the famous resort island will tighten checks at entrance gates and enforce a 14-day self-quarantine for all people entering the island, the Bali administration’s regional secretary Dewa Made Indra said.

The decision was taken by Bali Governor Wayan Koster after a meeting with the COVID-19 task force on Monday. The administration took into consideration the growing number of cases of the highly contagious viral disease on the island and confirmed local transmission cases.

The number of cases climbed 90 percent in a single day, with nine new cases on Monday, bringing the tally to 19. Among the new people who tested positive, eight are Indonesian and one is a foreign national, Dewa said.

“With the status, the administration, police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and other elements can carry out stricter efforts to prevent COVID-19. This is important to give stronger protection to Bali residents,” Dewa, who is also the chairman of Bali’s COVID-19 task force said on Monday.

The administration had previously issued an advisory level of Siaga (watch) for the province from March 16 to 30 in its effort to stem the spread of the respiratory illness that has dealt a blow to tourism on the island.

Dewa further said the task force had recorded cases of local transmission, the first on Bali after only having reported imported cases.

“There have been three cases of local transmission. This means the virus has been transmitted between people on the island,” he said.

Among the three cases, one is a nurse who handled a patient infected with the viral disease, highlighting the high risk of transmission faced by medical workers amid a shortage of protective gear across the country.



President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has raised concerns over an increase in imported COVID-19 cases as migrants workers are expected to return from abroad for Idul Fitri. He has ordered regional leaders to take preventive measures to stop the further spread of the highly contagious respiratory disease.

He said he had received reports of around 3,000 Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia in the past several days.

“We are concerned [because] some 1.8 million Indonesians may be leaving Malaysia, so we need to step up our measures for health screenings,” he said during a limited Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, citing data from the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) in 2019.

“If they show no symptoms, they can be sent back to their hometown, but they will be considered ODP [patients under general monitoring].”

In addition to migrant workers, the government is also preparing for the homecoming of 10,000 to 11,000 Indonesian crew members of luxury cruise ships.

China, South Korea and Singapore have encountered a “new wave” of COVID-19 infections, meaning that new confirmed cases of the disease did not come from local contagions but from those who had been traveling overseas.

Jokowi also said that the epicenter of the disease had shifted to Europe and the United States, so the government would also heavily monitor people entering Indonesia from both regions.

“I want the health protocols to be stricter at airports, seaports and border checks. And if they are asymptomatic but under observation for the disease, we will return them to their countries of origin,” the President said.

“But if they have symptoms, we will isolate them in a hospital, such as the one we are currently building in Galang Island, Riau Islands.” (glh)


The National Sports Week or PON 2020, which will be held in Papua, will likely be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, said Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

"It is very likely to be postponed if the coronavirus is still threatening Papua and Indonesia," said Ma'ruf through a video conference at his official home on Jalan Diponegoro, Central Jakarta, Thursday, March 26, 2020.

The country's easternmost province has been dealing with the virus since a few days ago as three Papuans tested positive for the disease or Covid-19. In response to the situation, Papuan provincial administration quickly took precautionary measures to anticipate the virus outbreak.

Among the efforts are limiting the time for public activities and access to the province both via air and sea points.

Ma'ruf claimed he could not ensure when PON 2020 will be held if it is finally delayed, asserting that the government was monitoring the situation before making a final decision.

The sports week was initially scheduled to last from October 20 until November 2, 2020.

"We are still observing the implementation of PON 2020. If the coronavirus remains a threat later, the event will eventually be postponed," Ma'ruf Amin said. (tempo.co)


PMI raises funds to help handle COVID-19 through QRIS

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) raises humanitarian aid funds for handling the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia through payment methods based on Quick Response Code Indonesia Standard (QRIS)

PMI Secretary General Sudirman Said in Jakarta on Sunday said PMI had officially launched a special fundraiser for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

"Like previous Humanitarian Donations, PMI also uses Quick Response Code Indonesia Standard (QRIS) for fundraising. PMI uses the TID-03 code," he said.

Fundraising through QRIS-PMI is intended to facilitate the community in making donations to support the prevention and treatment of the spread of the COVID-19 that is being intensively carried out by PMI.

"For people who want to make donations through PMI to help us handle COVID-19, can directly donate to QRIS-PMI with the TID-03 code. This QRIS can be used now," he said.

Information about QRIS-PMI specifically for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be accessed on the website donasi.pmi.or.id and on PMI social media, namely twitter @ palangmerah, Instagram @ palangmerah_indonesia, and the Indonesian Red Cross facebook fanpage.

This community donation, said Sudirman, will greatly support PMI activities in the prevention and management of COVID-19, including through massive health promotion for clean and healthy behavior (PHBS) to the public and spraying disinfectants in public areas, such as houses of worship, schools, markets and public offices.

"The action that PMI took was to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 from becoming more widespread. These two actions are currently being intensified among the people," the Secretary General of PMI said.

Sudirman Said said that the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak must be conducted together. This has become a momentum for all citizens of the nation to help each other.

"This is the time for all of us to do something and help each other. Together, we are against COVID-19," Sudirman Said stated. (ANTARA)

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