September 17, 2021

Three regencies turn yellow + Super-isoman is here + Is a new wave on the way? + more

Good morning!

Welcome to The Bali Beat for Thursday, September 17. If you’re not a subscriber, please sign up here to have this newsletter emailed to your inbox every weekday morning, along with a Sunday evening summary of the past week’s Covid-19 and vaccination data. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you!

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Weather & Tides

Today’s Weather for Southern Bali

Today’s Tides


Daily Covid Update

National Figures

Local Figures

The Big News

“Three Regencies Enter the Low Risk Zone for Covid” from Republika (Indonesian): The Bali Province COVID-19 Task Force said that three of nine regencies had entered the yellow zone. "Now, three of Bali's regencies are in the yellow zone, namely Jembrana, Karangasem, and Buleleng," said Secretary of the Bali Province COVID-19 Task Force I Made Rentin on Thursday. Six regencies remain orange, namely Badung, Gianyar, Bangli, Klungkung, Tabanan and Denpasar. The Task Force also said new COVID-19 cases show a downward trend, from the previous few weeks with 1,000 cases per day, in recent days it has been below 300 cases per day. On September 14, the case increase was 247 people, on September 15, 182, and on September 16, 117.

Context: Please see the Bali Beat Sunday edition for a weekly update on risk areas across Bali.


“Have No Fear, Indonesia's 'super-isoman' Is Here” from Reuters: At the height of Indonesia's deadly second wave of coronavirus infections, Agus Widanarko donned a superhero outfit and made multiple visits to isolating households each day to bring some smiles and support to children during the pandemic. His efforts have earned the 40-year-old, who normally works as a drug counsellor, the nickname "Super-isoman". "I do this because many children feel bored during the 14 days of isolation, so they need psychological assistance or trauma healing," said Widanarko. At the start of the second wave in June, he visited about six families daily, dressed in a range of his superhero costumes, including Spider-Man and Batman. With a drop in the caseload, Widanarko, who reckons who has entertained more than 100 children in four months, now conducts visits in his neighbourhood in Central Java once a week.


“Indonesia Quells Covid, but is a New Wave on the Way?” from Aljazeera: Official data in Indonesia shows a Delta-driven second wave of COVID-19 has run its course. But some of the country’s top epidemiologists say poor testing and tracing capacity, inaccurate estimates on the death toll and the deliberate falsification of data, means there is still no clear picture of the pandemic in Indonesia and a third wave could be brewing. Dr Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist who predicted Indonesia’s second wave a month before its peak, credits the government for making “some progress” in suppressing the pandemic. But outside of Java, he says, it is a different story: “The trend for new cases in Indonesia has moved from cities to villages and from Java to outlying islands where they don’t have enough capacity for testing. Most of these areas have performed poorly for one-and-a-half years but then suddenly in two months, they’ve shown a major improvement. This is the reason I am not convinced by their data.”

Context: The accuracy of Indonesia’s Covid-19 reporting has been questioned repeatedly in the media, both at a national level and for Bali.

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Other Headlines

“Indonesia in Talks With Who to Become Global Vaccine Hub” from Reuters: Indonesia is in talks with the WHO as well as six drug companies to become a global hub for manufacturing vaccines, its health minister said. Detailing the ambitious strategy for the first time, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that Indonesia would kickstart the initiative by prioritising purchases of COVID-19 vaccines from companies that shared technology and set up facilities in Indonesia. "We are working with the WHO to be one of the global manufacturing hubs for mRNA," he said. "The WHO has pointed to South Africa as the first location, and I said that logically Indonesia should be the second." A WHO spokesperson said Indonesia was one of 25 low and middle income countries to express interest in hosting a vaccine hub but declined to say if it was a leading candidate.


Vaccination Update

“NTB Province Gets an Additional 25,400 Vaccine Doses” from Republika (Indonesian): West Nusa Tenggara has received the distribution of 25,400 additional doses of Covid-19 vaccine from the central government. "We have received as many as 25,400 additional doses of vaccine," said Head of Public Relations of the NTB Police, Kombes Artanto on Thursday. "We are targeting 41,000 vaccines per day," said Artanto. To achieve the target, he said, the police had been asked to strengthen synergy with the district/city government. Based on vaccination data until September 15, in NTB, there were 872,665 residents who received the first dose of vaccine or 22.32% of the total population. Meanwhile, the second dose of vaccine has been distributed to 440,536 people or 11.27%.

Context: On September 13, Antara reported that NTB required over one million vaccine doses to meet the deadline for the World Superbike competition in November.

More...


Health Protocols (Prokes) & Health Services

“Cases Decrease, Denpasar Reduces Isoter Units” from Radar Bali (Indonesian): The number of positive confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Denpasar continues to decline. With the continued decline in the trend of Covid-19 cases, the Denpasar City Government is also slowly reducing centralized isolation places. On Wednesday, out of a total of 11 isoters; Denpasar City Government is now only operating five. The spokesperson for the Denpasar City Covid-19 Handling Task Force, I Dewa Gede Rai, confirmed this. According to Dewa Gede Rai, if the trend of Covid cases continues to decline, the Denpasar City Covid-19 Handling Task Force will close the isoter area. The total Isoter beds prepared in Denpasar are currently 990 beds, and 327 beds are currently occupied.

More...


Economy & Infrastructure

“Coffee Productivity in Bali is Low, This is Why” from Bisnis Bali (Indonesian): Bali has low coffee productivity, at 0.45 tons per hectare, lower than the national productivity of 0.61 tons per hectare. Based on a study by the Bank Indonesia Representative for Bali, Bali's coffee production share is around 51.1% of Balinusra, while Balinusra itself is around 6.0% of the national one. Almost all coffee plantations in Bali (99.9%) are smallholder plantations. Coffee cultivation in Bali has been using an intercropping system with citrus plants. A Bank Indonesia study concludes that the productivity of coffee plantations in Bali still needs to be improved, by rejuvenating plants, expanding Good Agriculture Practices, and using drip irrigation. Rejuvenation of coffee plants in Bali is relatively low, only 13% of the total coffee area. In addition, Bali also needs institutional strengthening and the role of MSMEs. This is driven by the fact that there are still many middlemen who extend the value chain.

More...


Education

“Schools in Gianyar Learn Face-to-Face” from Bali Puspa News (Indonesian): The Gianyar Regency Government made a quick decision following the decline in PPKM levels in Bali. If there are no obstacles, starting Monday, the learning process for PAUD, TK, SD and SMP students will take place face-to-face. This was confirmed by the Head of Education and Culture of Gianyar, I Made Suradnya, on Thursday. Learning techniques are regulated in each school, with a strict process and a maximum of 20 students per class. Apart from face-to-face teaching, it was emphasized that the school must not have a canteen and students should bring food from home. In PTM the subjects which require face-to-face are mathematics and science for elementary students. For junior high schools, face-to-face learning is mandatory for mathematics, physics and biology. "Other subjects such as history can still be done online," he said.

Context: The above is one of a number of stories regarding public schools moving towards Face-to-Face learning in Bali. Jembrana Regency is also restarting Face-to-Face learning (Indonesian) and there are likewise calls to restart it at a national level. There are no reports so far of movement by international schools on Bali.


Bali Reopening

“Indonesia Begins to Reopen Borders” from The Jakarta Globe: The Indonesian government has lifted the Covid-19 lockdown by allowing foreigners with valid Indonesian visas and stay permits to reenter the country, a spokesman said on Thursday. The immigration office has reopened offshore visa services available on its website. The National Covid-19 Task Force said the government limits operating international entry points to just six. International flights are only available at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado. International arrivals by ships are directed to Batam Seaport and to Nunukan Seaport in East Kalimantan. Similarly, only two border crossings are open, Aruk and Entikong in West Kalimantan.

Context: While this was big news yesterday, the above story clarifies which international entry ports are currently open, and confirms that offshore visa services are now available.

More ...

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Of Interest

How You Can Help Bali

In response to the collapse of the tourism sector in Bali and the resulting economic crisis due to Covid19, tens of thousands of families have found themselves with a greatly reduced income—if any. By the middle of 2020, over 100,000 people on Bali had lost their job. While government support has been limited, Indonesians and foreigners have sprung into action, raising funds and distributing badly needed food and everyday essentials to those most in need.

We've been raising awareness of these efforts, and if you’d like to make a contribution of any kind, you can see a list of some organisations here. Further projects 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

About This Newsletter

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