One of Indonesia’s top officials, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, didn’t seem too pleased with the COVID-19 handling in Bali during his visit yesterday, describing the province’s ongoing crisis as an “anomaly” and bluntly pointing out how it can negatively affect tourism.
“Don’t be angry if tourists don’t come. If you want tourists to come then we have to show some discipline,” the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment said.
In an Instagram post, Luhut further laid out several details from his visit with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian, seeking an explanation for the province’s alarming COVID-19 numbers despite its high vaccination rate.
“But their active cases are still high with a concerning number of deaths,” he wrote.
The province’s overnight infection rates have been averaging above 1,000 since late July, with another 1,353 new COVID-19 cases reported just yesterday. There are more than 12,500 active cases on the island, while nearly 3.1 million people have received their first vaccine shot as of Aug. 12.
Through his post and also to reporters, Luhut noted several ongoing issues such as Bali’s persisting lack of tracing efforts and the need for more centralized isolation facilities in order to reduce the risk of transmission among family members.
“I’m appealing to the people of Bali and religious figures to prepare strict protocols, such as obligation for PCR/antigen test, and participants of 15 people at the maximum in religious and traditional ceremonies, so as to not create new transmission clusters,” Luhut said.
The minister said he’s hoping to see some improvements in a week.
“Don’t let it come to a point where people abroad don’t see Bali as a tourist destination, because they think there’s no discipline,” Luhut said.
This article, ‘Don’t be angry if tourists don’t come’: senior Indonesian minister chides Bali’s COVID-19 handling, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.