This is how Bali escaped being virus hot spot with local traditions

HINDUSTANTIMEDS.COM

Bali, the resort island popular with backpackers, was always seen as a fertile ground for the coronavirus as millions of foreign tourists flock to its beaches. But it is today being touted as a model by Indonesian authorities in tackling the pandemic. The success in curbing the virus has come with the help of about 1,500 traditional village committees with considerable sway over the majority Hindu residents, according to Governor Wayan Koster. The island with a population of 4.2 million has reported just four virus-related deaths and 337 confirmed cases for a fatality rate of 1.2%, far below the national average of 6.4%. “A lot of people were previously very worried that Bali would be badly hit by Covid-19 as it’s the largest tourist destination in Indonesia,” Koster said in a phone interview. “But so far, the facts show a totally different picture.” Bali’s relative success in containing the virus may give it a head-start in luring visitors back when international travel resumes and revive its tourism-dependent economy. It’s also in sharp contrast to the widely-criticized efforts at the national level, which have led to deaths swelling to more than 1,000 and officials now warning the disease may infect almost 100,000 before starting to ease.

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