July 20, 2021

2 emergency Covid hospitals open in Bali + Emergency PPKM ends today, possible extension yet to be announced + Sanur beach redevelopment to begin in August, dozens of traders to be relocated + more

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Weather & Tides

Today’s Weather for Southern Bali

Today’s Tides

Local Covid Numbers

*Note: With 25 fatalities recorded yesterday, it was Bali’s deadliest day of the pandemic, bringing this month’s total deaths to 234. Daily cases yesterday did drop slightly however to 837, with 2 returned overseas travelers and 126 domestic travelers among them. The 7-day average is now 863.

Click here to see the national numbers infographic and a Regency-by-Regency breakdown of yesterday’s local numbers. And in case you missed it, check out Sunday’s update for a summary of last week’s overall totals, with perspective on how they stack up against previous weeks, detailed breakdowns of the virus’ spread on a Regency-by-Regency level, and the national task force’s risk assessment for each district/city across the country.

The Big News

"2 Emergency Covid Hospitals Open in Bali" from Coconuts Bali: Two emergency COVID-19 hospitals in Bali officially began operating on Monday, among a total of 14 buildings that Indonesian officials have recently converted into a healthcare facility to address the surge in coronavirus cases. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) has reportedly transformed Wisma Werdhapura in Denpasar and Wisma Bima in Badung into emergency hospitals, as COVID-19 cases escalate rapidly in the province and across Indonesia. The ministry said there are 121 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Werdhapura, but has yet to provide more information for Bima. The bed occupancy rate in Bali has more than doubled since late June, with Bangli, Buleleng, and Klungkung regencies now at 100% occupancy on their ICU. The province recorded its highest daily new infections on Saturday, at 1,019 cases, with some 7,300 people currently in treatment as of Monday. Data from the provincial government shows a total of 266 ICU beds in Bali’s existing hospitals. Almost 70% — or 186 beds — are currently occupied.  

"As of Monday Night, Extension of Emergency PPKM Still Hasn't Been Announced" from Kumpuran (Indonesian): The implementation of the Java-Bali Emergency PPKM will end on Tuesday (20/7). However, until now there has been no decision whether the government will extend it to reduce the spike in COVID-19 cases. The Java-Bali Emergency PPKM has been running for two weeks under the command of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Although it has not shown significant results in the first week, corona cases began to decline entering the second week. As of Monday night, there has been no decision or official announcement from Luhut whether the Emergency PPKM will be stopped or continued. Finally, on Monday afternoon, Spokesperson for Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Jodi Mahardi, said the decision regarding the continuation of Emergency PPKM was still being discussed.

"Sanur Beach Redevelopment to Begin in August, Dozens of Traders to be Relocated" from Bali Post (Indonesian): The Denpasar City Government continues to finalize the Sanur Beach redevelopment plan. Balai Wilayah Bali-Penida [under the Ministry of Public Works and Community Housing] is preparing for the tender process. The project is planned to run from August to December 2021. Dozens of traders who occupy the area east of the coastal path will be relocated. According to Sanur Kaja Perbekel, there are 21 traders along the coast under its authority. The arrangement plan will start from the end of Jalan Hang Tua. In the Sanur Village area, there are 57 traders, while in the Sanur Kauh area on Mertasari Beach there are 7 traders, and one in front of the Mercure Hotel. Several relocation areas have been proposed, such as Duyung Beach, an area near Mercure Hotel, and Karang Beach.

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Other Headlines

"Oxygen Usage in Bali Hospitals Increases Drastically Due to Spike in Covid-19 Cases" from Tribun Bali (Indonesian): The increase in positive cases of Covid-19 on the island of Bali is now making the availability of oxygen start to run low. The need for oxygen in Bali has now increased 5 times. This was conveyed by Chair of the Association of All Hospitals (PERSI) Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Anom. "Currently Bali is relying on the supply of liquid oxygen from Banyuwangi, East Java. Bali has a canister or gaseous oxygen refilling station but it is limited. Sources are from Java for liquid oxygen and Bali for gaseous oxygen," he explained. He further said that distributors now only distribute oxygen once a day to Bali in the amount of several tons. Bali can produce a maximum 700 tons per day of gaseous oxygen. From the existing supply, the availability of liquid oxygen only lasts a maximum of 2 days. "The supply depends on the patients who are treated by each hospital. Usually they require oxygen from 8-9 hours up to 2 days," he added.

Context: It has been reported that Buleleng state hospital has run out of oxygen, and that operations have had to be postponed. Further, the chair of the Bali Private Hospital Association has confirmed that the availability of oxygen at private hospitals in Bali is also running low.

Vaccination Update

Health Protocols (Prokes) & Health Services

"Ahead of Eid al-Adha, Gilimanuk Harbor Receives Hundreds of Passengers" from Radar Bali (Indonesian): On Sunday morning, hundreds of motorbikes leaving Bali had already packed the entrance to Gilimanuk Harbor before the service for motorbikes was opened. The private motorbike and car users leaving Bali are suspected to be residents who will celebrate Eid al-Adha in their hometown. Jembrana Police Chief, AKBP I Ketut Gede Adi Wibawa, said since the implementation of restrictions on non-logistical crossings at Gilimanuk Port, there have been more in the morning until noon. The queue of vehicles that occurred in the morning was waiting for the port to open for non-logistical transportation. The police chief emphasized that crossing service users entering and leaving Bali must carry a rapid antigen test and a vaccine card for at least the first dose of the vaccine. "As long as the conditions are met, there is no prohibition against entering or leaving Bali," he said.

Context: The Jembrana police chief's statement seems to be in direct contrast to the nationwide week-long ban on non-essential travel during Eid al-Adha implemented from Sunday.


Economy & Infrastructure

"Bali Refutes Reports, Says it is Incentivizing Covid-19 Healthcare Workers" from Antara: Refuting allegations of late payment of incentives to COVID-19 healthcare workers, the Bali provincial government has said more than Rp22.85 billion (about US$1.57 million) has been allocated for the workers since June, 2021. "What caused Bali to get a warning letter (from the Internal Affairs Ministry) was the mention that Bali has not liquidated the incentives for COVID-19 healthcare workers," regional secretary of Bali province, Dewa Made Indra, said. As of June this year, 48.60% of the Rp47.01 billion (about US$3.2 million) allocated to incentivize healthcare workers has been disbursed, he informed. Therefore, the Bali provincial government should not have been included in the warning letter issued by the Internal Affairs Ministry over the implementation of the program, he stressed.

Context: Yesterday we included this story about Bali being among several provinces that received a warning from the home affairs ministry over slow disbursal of Covid-19 funds.


"Indonesia Reports Highest Single-Day Covid-19 Death Toll" from The Jakarta Globe: Indonesia recorded a further 1,338 Covid-19 deaths on Monday - the highest daily death toll since the outbreak began - to take the total number of fatalities to 74,920. The previous high was 1,205 deaths recorded on Friday. It’s also for the fourth day in a row that more than 1,000 people died from Covid-19 in the 24-hour period, government figures show. On a more positive note, the daily tally of new cases is moving in the downward trend, with 34,247 cases to take the country’s total to 2.9 million. The single-day tally is now below that of India, which reported more than 38,000 cases on the same day, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Indonesia currently has 542,938 active cases of the virus, among the highest in the world.

Context: Bali also recorded its highest single-day death toll on Monday, with 25 fatalities.

"Grab a Nasi Bungkus: Community-based Charity Stalls Pop Up Across Bali to Help People With Free Meals" from Coconuts Bali: The signs read: “Those who need it, take it for free. Those who can afford it, feel free to fill it up.” Throughout Bali, individuals and communities have been setting up charity stalls providing free nasi bungkus, or wrapped rice, for those who are struggling amid these challenging times in Indonesia. Small stands are erected on the sidewalk or a corner, with hooks and a sign, where people can grab what they need for free or offer a little something for the local community instead. The distribution of free meals has been relatively common in Bali during the pandemic, but they appear to be popping up more in recent weeks, especially since the start of the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) earlier this month.  

"Garuda Indonesia Faces Lawsuits at Home and Abroad" from The Jakarta Post (Metered Paywall): Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is facing an insolvency lawsuit over its failure to pay aircraft lease while trying to stay afloat in an industry severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Publicly listed AerCap Ireland Ltd., an aircraft leasing firm based in Dublin, filed on June 4 an insolvency lawsuit against Garuda with the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia. During the ongoing trial, Garuda was “in the process of negotiating with AerCap to reach a commercial deal and restructure the contract outside the Court”, the 72-year-old airline company stated in its financial report released on Friday. In 2020, the report also said Garuda saw its net loss swell to $2.44 billion from $38.93 million a year earlier, while revenue fell 67.36 percent year-on-year to $1.49 billion.

"Indonesian Man With Covid Boards Flight Using Wife’s Negative Test Result and Burqa Disguise" from Coconuts Jakarta: An Indonesian man hid under the cover of his burqa in order to board a flight despite testing positive for COVID-19. The man, identified by his initials DW, was reportedly able to board a Citilink flight recently from Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport to return to his hometown of Ternate, Maluku despite having COVID-19. The Ternate COVID-19 Task Force said DW used his wife’s negative PCR test result to pass security checkpoints at Halim. He hid his identity and disguised himself as his own wife by wearing a burqa to the airport. His deception was uncovered when a flight attendant noticed that he changed out of the burqa and into his shirt in the bathroom during the flight. He was subjected to a COVID test at Ternate’s Sultan Baabulah Airport, which came out positive. It remains to be seen if DW would face criminal charges.

Of Interest

How You Can Help

In response to the collapse of the tourism sector in Bali and the resulting economic crisis, dozens of individuals and organizations have sprung into action, raising funds and distributing badly needed food and everyday essentials to the innumerable families who have suddenly found themselves without any source of income. We've been making an effort to document and raise awareness of these efforts. We will add information on projects in this space as we are able to confirm them. If you'd like to see a list of the efforts that we've featured so far and contribute to them with either time or money, visit our complete list here. You can also see a list of projects that have registered themselves with Bali Solidarity. If you know of an effort and would like to have them listed, please send their information to TheBaliBeat@outlanders.global.

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