This is how Bali escaped being virus hot spot with local traditions- Bali News

This is how Bali escaped being virus hot spot with local traditions- Bali News

Bali, the hotel island popular with backpackers, was always viewed as a fertile ground for the coronavirus as numerous foreign tourists flock to its shores.  Nevertheless, it is now being touted as a model by Indonesian government in tackling the pandemic.The success in controlling the virus has come with the assistance of roughly 1,500 traditional village committees with significant influence over the vast majority Hindu inhabitants, according to Governor Wayan Koster.  "Lots of people were previously very worried that Bali could be severely hit by Covid-19 as it is the biggest tourist destination in Indonesia," Koster said in a telephone interview.  "But so far, the facts reveal an entirely different picture." Additionally it is in sharp contrast to the widely-criticized attempts at the federal level, which have contributed to deaths swelling to over 1,000 and officials now warning that the disease may infect nearly 100,000 before beginning to ease.

This is how Bali escaped being virus hot spot with local traditions- Bali News

While no deadline was set for reopening the island to tourists, Koster says a plan is prepared but it'll be rolled out after Bali completely recovers from the pandemic.  The island combined with Manado, and Batam are one of areas where the government is intending to ease limitations, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said Thursday.Officials tapped the powerful village committees and Hindu beliefs to ensure residents stayed at home and no external visitors were allowed to prevent wider diseases after a British tourist with Covid-19 was the first in Bali to succumb to the virus in early March.  People were asked to carry out certain Hindu rituals for security, which mandated them to comply with local leaders, according to Governor Koster.Few other areas in Indonesia, an archipelago of 18,000 islands, have a village structure like Bali where leaders hold as much sway over a population of its dimensions.  

Then there is also a lack of testing, with President Joko Widodo calling for scaling up the country's diagnostic capacity, stating the daily testing of 4,000-5,000 specimens was"far below our goal."The state did not inflict more punishing social distancing rules like ban on mass parties and curbs on public transportation unveiled by the central authorities and followed in areas like Jakarta and West Java.  However, it locked down three villages, after local community ailments from returning migrant workers.  Authorities are ready to manage the return of tens of thousands of researchers, such as from cruise ships, in the coming weeks, Koster said."The cities have a very powerful influence on the community.  No matter the elders in the villages said, people will perish," said Ngurah Wijaya, advisor to the Bali Tourism Board.  "This has allowed the government to impose its policies to the community level efficiently."Bali's victory on the virus is not limited to suppressing new instances or restricting loss of lives.   

Three labs at the island is now able to test almost 500 specimens every day, instead of sending samples to cities outside the province originally.  That allows authorities to accelerate contact tracing and isolation, Koster said.However, the revival of its tourism sector to the pre-pandemic period is far from ensured.   The island is home to resorts run by industry leaders like Marriott International Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.. The island received a record 6.2 million overseas tourists last year."Balinese also understood that tourism is the origin of the living, so we will need to look after ourselves in order to acquire the trusts and confidence in your visitors," Wijaya said.  "That is probably a vital distinction that Bali has compared with the other areas."

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