Bali Discovery

Virologist Calls for Bali Lock Down

Bali Sees Rapid Surge in New Cases and Deaths from COVID-19

Radar Bali reports that a Professor Emeritus from the Veterinary Faculty of Bali’s Udayana University, Professor Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Kade Mahardika, has called for a complete quarantine lockdown of the Island of Bali.

Image: Radar Bali

Prompted by the surging rate of new infections and deaths linked to COVID-19 in Bali, Doctor Mahardika said on Tuesday, 08 September 2020: “There must be a lockdown. Do you want to see an even greater explosion (in the disease)?

Professor Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Kade Mahardika

When challenged and asked if there was no other alternative to a lockdown, Mahardika, a respected expert in virology, sternly replied: “Maintaining health is number one. I don’t see any alternative.”

When challenged and asked if there was no other alternative to a lockdown, Mahardika, a respected expert in virology, sternly replied: “Maintaining health is number one. I don’t see any alternative.”

Professor Doctor Mahardika said a lockdown of four weeks is needed, broken down into two-two week segments. Adding: “The first two weeks are needed to make sure that all those testing positive become negative. The following two weeks are needed to break the chain of contagion among the general public.”

In a previous report, an expert in epidemiology from Udayana University working from the School of Public Health, Doctor I Made Ady Wirawan, said the uncontrolled number of new cases of COVID-19 in Bali is due to the low level of testing being undertaken by the government. 

Doctor I Made Ady Wirawan

Dr. Wirawan called on the government to work faster in undertaking Swab Tests among the public. He insists this is important to break the chains of infection for COVID-19, which is now recording hundreds of new positive cases each day, as reported by the Task Force for the Mitigation of COVID-19.

Responding to Dr. Wirawan’s comments, Professor Mahardika took a different course, choosing to lobby for an increase in Bali’s hospital capacity. Elaborating further, Mahardika said: “Increasing the number of Swab Tests needs to be done in an extraordinary way. It is possible that Indonesia will not achieve an ideal number (of tests).”

“If the funds are available, it would be best if the focus was shifted to increasing the capacity of hospitals,” Mahardika said.

According to Radar Bali, the Provincial Department of Health in June 2020 counted only 473 isolation rooms available at Bali hospitals. Health officials also said that in June, there was a supply of 601 quarantine rooms. 

Radar Bali said they could not obtain a more current count on isolation and quarantine rooms than the June figures. Meanwhile, the number of active COVID-19 cases recorded on 08 September 2020 was put by health officials at 1,196 patients – a number that exceeds the stated number of available isolation rooms and quarantine rooms with a combined total of 1,074.

In recent days, the number of new COVID-19 cases has surged. On 08 September, 164 new cases were recorded. On that same day, 12 deaths caused by the coronavirus were counted in Bali.

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