Image: Sanur Pecalang reminding people to wear masks. Credit: IG @ andikajoka.

With an increase of Badung Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI) and Badung students returning from abroad, the Badung authorities are preparing additional hotels in the Kuta area for quarantine and isolation purposes.

The Deputy Regent of Badung, I Ketut Suiasa made a personal visit and review of the situation yesterday, accompanied by medical staff, and setting specific requirements that must be met by the hotel as a place of quarantine.

“At present we have prepared a second hotel in the Kuta area with 134 rooms as a place of isolation for PMI and students from Badung as well as 25 rooms for Health Office employees and Satpol PP,” he told Bali Post, yesterday.

The Deputy Mayor also said he appreciated and thanked the local hoteliers for their help. “From the participation of local entrepreneurs we are given the opportunity to entrust and place our PMI in these hotels (,which remain unnamed. Ed). Of course, on behalf of the government and the community we thank and give appreciation to business owners and management of the hotels,” he added.

Suiasa also hoped the local community did not treat the PMI with a negative stigma as everyone has the same potential to be infected with the COVID-19 virus and these local people need the community’s support.

He also detailed, “Currently, in total we have 198 rooms in isolation places for PMI and students, and later we will adjust their needs to developments in the field as they arise, because the potential for Badung PMI is 500 people.”

The PMI, or returning migrant workers, also featured in the Bali Covid-19 Task Force chief, Dewa Made Indra’s video briefing yesterday evening. He once again told the press that the quarantine of the PMI is a very important step to ensure that these ‘foreign exchange heroes’, as he called them, are truly negative to COVID-19 before being released back into the public.

From 22 March to 16 April, 9.647 PMI from Bali had returned to the island through Ngurah Rai airport or Benoa Harbour. However, there is no exact data on how many PMIs are still yet to return, which was acknowledged to the press by the Bali provincial government.

Dewa Indra stated that the costs involved in the quarantine were great, but were handled by the Bali government and he also ensured the availability of PPE, masks (surgical masks and N95) and that the rapid test equipment were still sufficient. “We are continuing to increase the availability of PPE, rapid tests and other tools that we need,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pecalang, or local traditional security, were out in force in Sanur, yesterday socializing the use of masks to the community in an aid to slowing the spread of Covid-19.

Not only for locals, but foreign citizens also received the socialization. People were asked to wear masks and if they did not have masks, they are advised to return home to collect them. “We are doing this to lessen the effect of the Corona virus so that the situation in Bali, and Sanur in particular, can return to normal,” pecalang spokesman, Wayan Sura Darma said on Friday (17/4).

He said that there were many people still stubborn in wearing masks, but now it is required to wear masks when outside the home and diligent hand washing and healthy and hygienic behavior is also a must.

The latest Covid-19 figures. Bali again saw an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday (17/4) with an additional 11 cases. In total, Bali has handled 124 positive COVID-19 patients with 36 recovering, including four more reported to be recovering yesterday.

The positive cases totaled eight foreigners and 116 Indonesian citizens. For the new positives, there were eight returning migrant workers and three local transmissions.

The number of positive patients in care (active cases) is currently 86 people. The composition is 84 Indonesian citizens and two foreigners.

From the 124 positive cases of COVID-19, imported cases still dominate with a total of 81 people, with them being 77 PMI and four non-PMI people. 14 other people came from the affected areas in Indonesia and 21 from local transmissions.

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