As of Monday (1/6) confirmed cases of Covid-19 in East Java numbered 4,920 people.
The Bali Provincial Government has implemented a multiple layered system to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and placed officers in Banyuwangi. Due to significant numbers of Idul Fitri travelers attempting to return to Bali since the end of last week (which reached more than 1400 people a day) the provincial government of Bali has tightened the entry to Bali at the port of Gilimanuk.
The number of the public entering Bali who had to undergo Covid-19 testing/ screening in Gilimanuk over the past several days has experienced a significant surge.
In one day, more than 1400 people were tested. Early detection efforts to screen travelers attempting to cross via the port of Gilimanuk are continuing and must be carried out to keep Bali safe from the spread of Covid-19.
Steps taken by the Bali Covid-19 Task Force to prevent transmission from visitors to the island shows that they are not playing around.
In addition to applying protocols such as the requiring a letter showing a negative Covid-19 test result, the Bali Provincial Covid-19 Task Force has placed examination officers at specific check points. These check points start in Banyuwangi, Ketapang then at Gilimanuk.
The examination of visitors is also supported by the Mutual Assistance Task Force in Indigenous Villages (Desa Adat) as the last bastion supported by the Adat Village-based self-check protocols. These examination steps should restrict people who make it through initial examinations to not be able to simply enter into Bali. Travelers can be repatriated even though they have entered Bali if they does not meet all the requirements in place.
Meeting at Gilimanuk on Sunday (31/5), the Head of the Bali Provincial Transportation Agency I Gede Wayan Samsi Gunarta said that his party collaborated with all stakeholders and managers of entry points to Bali to face the potential post-Eid (Idul Fitri) backflow. He acknowledged that there was still a possibility of travelers passing through from Ketapang to Bali (without all requirements). This is due to the manual ticketing system and the high volume of crossings at certain hours where officers are not at their best. “So, even though we have carried out insulation from Ketapang, one partition is not completely perfect. We have placed layered screening in place that allow us to keep turning around those who do not have complete travel requirements in accordance with the Health Protocol that the National Task Force and the Governor of Bali have implemented” said Samsi.
He said this system has worked well, as evidenced by the reversal of passengers in Gilimanuk, the travel route to Denpasar and review by the Mutual Assistance Task Force. “I think we still have to work together to maintain the positive trend of management of Covid-19 in Bali and we will work towards the New Normal with new protocols” he said.
At the same time, the Head of the Public Order and Peace of the Bali Provincial Police (Satpol PP) Komang Kusuma Edi said the Satpol PP in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, the Armed Forces (TNI), National Police () and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries had implemented strict safeguards starting from before entering the Ketapang Port. “We guard the check point 24 hours a day. If anyone crosses into Bali without an official stamp and the coordinator’s signature, then it can be ascertained that they have crossed without going through our inspection path” he said.
He admitted that there were still individuals who attempt to take back roads or trick the officers. However, these elements will certainly will have to face inspections at the Gilimanuk Port. According to Edi, at the Sri Tanjung Check Point alone on May 29, 36 people were refused entry to Bali because they did not have the proper Covid-19 results or the test results were not valid (expired) and did not have any other relevant certificates. He invited all Balinese people to take an active role by not helping individuals and if necessary reporting anything suspicious to the Task Force.
The Head of Transportation, Samsi Gunarta, also added that in such a situation the community and travelers should work together to ensure health and be patient during travel so that the coronavirus can be controlled. “If forced to travel at this time, please complete all requirements for travel in accordance with the provisions. Officers are tasked with ensuring order; if the traveler does not want to be orderly, we are forced to make repatriations that will lead to greater travel risks,” he said.