Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Bali COVID-19 Task Force personnel have begun vaccinating traditional market traders in Badung District to prevent potential spread of COVID-19 among merchants and buyers.

The local traders have been inoculated since Saturday as observed in Bualu and Jimbaran markets, Deputy Head of Badung District I Ketut Suiasa told journalists here Sunday.

"Traditional market traders are in our priority list for COVID-19 vaccination because they interact with community members at the markets," he said.

This vaccination program is expected to halt new clusters of COVID-19 in the district, he said, adding that the vaccination program would be continued in other markets.

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has recently highlighted the importance of vaccination program in Bali to revive the island's tourism sector.

At his meeting with Bali Governor Wayan Koster on February 11, Uno said vaccinating 1.2 million workers in Bali's tourism sector would boost public trust in the world's most popular tourist destination.

"We pray for Bali's immediate recovery. If the tourism sector can get revived, the economy will get back on track. Speaking of Indonesia's tourism, it will never be separated from Bali," he remarked.

Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since the government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

In winning its fight against the coronavirus disease, it has launched a national vaccination program.

According the Health Ministry, it would take 15 months to vaccinate around 181.5 million people under the vaccination program.

Since January 26, 2021, Indonesia's COVID-19 infection rate has exceeded one million cases.

To attain herd immunity and free the nation from the clutches of the pandemic, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has stressed on the need for successfully administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the targeted population.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease has dragged Indonesia into serious public health and economic crises.

Tourism has been among the severely-affected economic sectors in the country, and Bali tourism has been badly battered by the pandemic.

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Translator: Naufal FY, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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