Indonesia: Bali designates Covid-19 green zones

Balinese Hindu worshippers wearing protective face masks walk at a beach during Melasti, a purification ceremony ahead of the holy day of Nyepi in Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, March 11, 2021.- Antara via Reuters

BALI, March 12 (dpa): Three popular tourist spots in Bali have been designated Covid-19 green zones, in the first step towards reopening the Indonesian island to the outside world, the local government has announced.

Bali's cultural heart of Ubud, Gianyar and Nusa Dua are three districts that will be prioritized for vaccination, Governor I Wayan Koster said in a statement.

"Designating Covid-19 [green zones] is a pre-condition for the reopening of Bali to foreign tourists," the statement said.

Bali reopened to domestic visitors in July, but plans to allow foreign tourists to start visiting again in September were shelved following a spike in coronavirus cases.

No new date has been set for reopening to foreign visitors.

Indonesia has so far vaccinated nearly 3.5 million people, using the vaccine produced by China's Sinovac Biotech.

The country plans to inoculate 185 million of its 270 million people within 15 months in the hope of achieving herd immunity.

Covid-19 infctions have been on a downward trend in Indonesia in recent weeks.

The Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 5,144 within one day to 1,403,722, with the death toll adding by 117 to 38,049, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

According to the ministry, 8,170 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,224,603.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces. - dpa
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