As Jakarta braces for a soft lockdownafter recording more than 200 COVID-19 cases with 18 deaths, Bali, a hot spot for international tourists, has reported only four confirmed cases. And not a single of them is a local transmission.
In the first weeks since the Health Ministry announced the first case of local transmission of the novel coronavirus on March 2, both the ministry and Balinese authorities had insisted the province only had one case: a British tourist known as Case 25 who died at Sanglah Hospital and was only known to have COVID-19 after her death. She was defined as an imported case, not a local transmission.
The dearth of cases on the resort island, which receives more than 5 million foreign tourists annually, including from China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has baffled many, given the fact that it was heavily exposed to the disease.
On Friday, when it became clear that a community spread had taken place in Jakarta and its satellite cities, the government finally announced that Bali had recorded three new confirmed cases, but they were all from outside the province.
The first case is a foreign tourist from France, the second is Balinese who just returned from Italy and the third case is Balinese who just returned from Jakarta. The capital, meanwhile, recorded the highest number of new cases at 32, bringing its total to 215 or about 58 percent of the total cases nationwide.