The coronavirus death rate is exploding in Bali, sparking fears it’ll be among the last places to welcome Aussie visitors again.Business is suffering so severely even major chains are permanently closing, including McDonald’s in the centre of usual-hotspot Kuta.The coronavirus death rate is exploding in Bali, sparking fears it’ll be among the last places to welcome Aussie visitors again. (9News)Deserted beaches resemble those of the 1980s before the island’s tourism boom and Kuta’s party strip has an undeniably eerie vibe with dance floors and bar tables empty and rarely a reveller in sight.
During the September school holidays Waterbom Bali’s water slides would normally host 1200 thrill seekers. Instead it’s temporarily closed.
“Tourists gave people a life and it’s so sad,” CEO Sayan Gulino said.
Deserted beaches resemble those of the 1980s before the island’s tourism boom. (9News)
Driver and father-of-three Wayan Arcayasa has had to sell a car just to get by.
“Very, very sad honestly because we never know why the virus hit the world and hit us in tourism especially,” he said.
Foreign business owners are also struggling to hang on.
Kuta’s party strip has an undeniably eerie vibe with dance floors and bar tables empty. (9News)
“If this continues for much longer I won’t have any choice than to close down,” Cafe Smorgas owner Johan Lassesson said.
And the fear is it’ll get worse before it gets better.
The problem is Indonesians are now allowed to move between islands, bringing to Bali a COVID-19 explosion.
The infection rate doubled with 3671 cases in September, and deaths increasing six-fold with 207 during the same month.
Bali’s infection rate doubled with 3671 cases in September, and deaths increased six-fold with 207 during the same month. (9News)
And those official figures are thought to be just a fraction of the true picture with the testing rate among the lowest in the world.
“We don’t know where is the virus actually, how to control it,” local epidemiologist Professor Gusti Ngurah Mahardika concedes.
And if it can’t be controlled, there are concerns Aussies won’t be allowed to visit their affectionately-known “second home” for a long time to come.
“Bali should be back in lockdown,” Professor Gusti Ngurah Mahardika said.
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