Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bali declares state of emergency

Indonesia's tourist hotspot Bali has declared a state of emergency after a rise in positive covid-19 cases including local transmission.

Stricter measures are being implemented including checks at ports and all arrivals will be forced to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.

The island has not been heavily impacted up to now, at least according to official data which has been strictly controlled by government officials in Jakarta.

However the number of cases surged 90% in a single day, leading to the decision by Bali governor Wayan Koster.

Of the nine new cases, eight are Indonesians and one is a foreign national, said Dewa Made Indra, chairman of Bali's covid-19 task force.

"The administration, police, Indonesian Military and other elements can carry out stricter efforts to prevent covid-19. This is important to give stronger protection to Bali residents," Dewa said.

Bali has 19 confirmed positive cases and two deaths of foreign nationals.

Indonesia's handling of the outbreak has been heavily criticized for weeks.

This is down to the miniscule number of tests carried out and the government's insistence that all tests are sent to Jakarta for analysis.

This has led to deaths being reported even before government authorities have confirmed they tested positive.

Bali's state of emergency declaration has sparked the Australian government to once again urge Aussies to come home now.

"If you're trying to get home, and can still book commercial flights, do so as soon as possible. If you cannot leave or prefer to stay where you are, make plans to remain for an extended period," the Smartraveller website said in a new update.

The government has said it will not organise repatriation flights for Australians out of Indonesia and anyone who doesn't leave now may be stranded there for months.

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