Number of Chinese Tourists in Bali Unaffected by Virus Outbreak



Laila Afifa

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  • Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. ANTARA/Wira Suryantala

    Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. ANTARA/Wira Suryantala

    TEMPO.CO, Denpasar - The massive spread of coronavirus that was first reported in Wuhan, China, did not affect the number of Chinese tourists visiting Bali, said Herry A.Y. Sikado as the general manager of Ngurah Rai Airport of the state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I (AP I).

    Herry explained that his side was coordinating with the Port Health Office (KKP) by installing the equipment needed to anticipate the Wuhan virus at the airport. “We have not yet found the impact so far,” he said after launching GrabCar Airport service on Thursday, January 23.

    According to Herry, many tourists especially those hailing from China usually crowded the Heaven Island during the Lunar New Year or Imlek celebration. "[The airport service] still operates as normal," he said, adding that includes charter flight services.

    I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport installed virus detection equipment since January 6, and to date, there is no report on infected passengers. “[However,] we must anticipate this. We do not want those issues to affect other tourists.”

    The health unit chief of the Port Health Office (KKP) for Denpasar, Putu Alit Sudarma, claimed his side instantly responded to the massive cases of pneumonia, the common symptom of the coronavirus infection, by enhancing the monitoring on Chinese passengers.

    Alit said the thermal scanners at the airport have been installed since January 4 in a bid to detect the infectious disease. “The tolls have been activated based on the global epistemology, and we do not know yet until when,” Alit said on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, Bali Tourism Agency head Putu Astawa said that his team would not restrict the visit of Chinese tourists to the island amid the virus outbreak.