President Joko Widodo specifically gave praise and appreciation for the successful management of Covid-19 in the province of Bali. According to the President, although Bali did not implement Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), the Island of the Gods in fact showed an adequate ability to suppress the rate of spread of the virus that began in Wuhan, China.

“I think the effective work done by the Provincial Government of Bali in handling Covid-19 can be used as an example. When examined, it is a fact that Bali has the most tourists from China, and thus should be the most impacted ” said President Joko Widodo in a Meeting (Ratas) Evaluation of the Implementation of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) via video conference on Tuesday (12/5) at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.

President Jokowi was accompanied at the meeting by Vice President KH Maruf Amin as well as a number of relevant ministers and a governor stated that the steps and policies undertaken by the Provincial Government of Bali were very good especially through the “adat” village-based task forces.

“The task forces within the scope of traditional villages is a very good step in the process of limiting regions with isolation processes if there is an increase in cases.  This is the method we want, because those at the lowest level know best what to do. I think if all villages carry this out, it will greatly facilitate supervision, control and this has been proven in Bali” the President praised.

The high recovery rate in Bali as well as the low death rate were highlighted by President Jokowi as further proof of Bali’s success in handling Covid-19. “I think other provinces can follow what Bali is doing,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Covid-19 Task Force Doni Monardo also acknowledged Bali’s ability to withstand the rate of transmission and handling of Covid-19.

“The evidence shows that confirmed cases in Bali continue to decrease, many patients in hospitals have recovered and there have been no additional deaths. Of course we must appreciate this, even though Bali did not choose large scale social restrictions, Bali has made maximum efforts by utilizing local wisdom, “explained Monardo.

“By empowering the traditional villages and the formation of the Mutual Assistance Task Force, the community members played a major role in Bali’s success,” he added.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster (through a video conference from Jaya Sabha, Denpasar) reported that Bali’s success in suppressing the spread of Covid-19 among others factors was due to implementing policies that emphasized the directives of the President; namely controlling the movement of society and regulating the community via orderly social interaction in order to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Governor Koster said, the Province of Bali chose not to impose large scale social restrictions with various considerations. “However, we mapped out the problems faced by Bali, where the source of the problem was and what the transmission was like to determine how the management of Covid-19 should be carried out,” explained Governor Koster.

According to Governor Koster, the focus of management of Covid-19 cases in Bali is to first to restrain the rate of growth of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

“As soon as it first appeared in Bali, we immediately issued a joint decision with the adat Village Councils and the Indonesian Hindu Society to form a Customary Village-Based Mutual Assistance Task Force. We designated the traditional village as the main pillar to discipline the community, through customary law, so that communities are orderly and disciplined and to control the movement of the community” explained the former 3 term member of the Indonesian Parliament.

“They work day and night by forming mutual cooperation posts in all traditional villages and controlling the entry and exit of people into the areas of their respective traditional villages,” he added.

Koster also explained that in the customary villages, there were two main activities related to the management of Covid-19, namely noetic or religious rituals in accordance with the beliefs and local wisdom of the Balinese people. “Noetic activities carried out at the village level are very helpful, and these shall be scheduled until the Covid-19 outbreak is over,” he explained.

Then at the grassroots level, Governor Koster said that the synergy of indigenous villages was carried out with the security forces, non-commissioned law enforcement officers and urban communities.  Whereas at the next level, synergy with regents/ mayors across Bali are carried out with directives and instructions that are in line with the central government.

The governor who was born in Sembiran, Buleleng also mentioned an important factor in handling Covid -19 in Bali was the quality of health services, including 13 referral hospitals complete with adequate isolation rooms, competent medical personnel and complete equipment.  “We have also provided three laboratories for SWAB tests with a capacity of 490 samples per day,” he said.

“Of course we also recognize medical staff who go above and beyond, as it is proven that numbers of patients who recover in Bali Province are very high. For this reason, we provide good facilities, incentives and awards to medical staff. We are very proud of our medical staff in Bali” he said.

The official return of migrant workers and ship crew members is also a concern of the Provincial Government of Bali considering the tens of thousands of people who have returned to Bali since the Covid-19 pandemic began.  “All of them are quarantined in provincial quarantine facilities; even those who with negative test results are still quarantined in the districts/cities for 14 days,” he added.

Regarding cases of local transmission, Governor Koster explained that villages with significant increases of confirmed cases were immediately isolated.  “The results are quite good, and now we are focusing on handling these local transmission cases together with districts/ cities. We are targeting the end of May, in accordance with the SOP that we have specified a minimum target of 90 percent recovery rate for Covid-19 in Bali.  We have agreed, together with all relevant parties to make Bali the first province free of Covid-19” he stressed.

Also reported, currently numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases has reached 314 people (data of 11 May, 2020) with an average increase of 7 confirmed cases per day with a downward trend. While recoveries continue to increase, there are now 210 people who have recovered or 67 percent of confirmed cases. Recorded deaths remain at 4 people or 1.27 percent of the total number of confirmed cases.  The remaining 100 people are still being treated.

“We estimate that due to the 13 day average length of treatment, then in the next few days recoveries will increase, so we can focus more on limiting the rate of new confirmed cases. I also must report that most of the patients in treatment today are in good health and their chances of recovery are very high,” he concluded.


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