Denpasar (ANTARA) - The Bali Provincial COVID-19 Handling Task Force has readied a 700-bed capacity centralized isolation place as a precautionary measure against a spike in COVID-19 cases after the 2021 Christmas and 2022 New Year holidays.

"We specifically made preparations as a precautionary measure against a surge in COVID-19 cases after the year-end holidays," Secretary of the Bali Provincial COVID-19 Task Force I Made Rentin stated on Wednesday.

The centralized isolation place, with a capacity of 700 beds managed by the Bali provincial government, was readied at five hotels located in the Denpasar City and Badung District.

"The centralized isolation place is managed by the District/City Task Force, with a capacity of 883 beds, and several beds having been filled," Rentin stated.

The secretary also reminded Bali's residents to always implement health protocols despite a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in Bali, and the addition of daily cases of less than 10 people.

"The Bali Provincial Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) has also given directions to oversee public areas where crowding is likely," he remarked.

Rentin later noted that involvement of the Indigenous Village Council at the province, district and city, sub-district, and urban village levels was necessary for supervision of their respective territories.

Despite a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, anyone can still likely get infected and infect others, Rentin emphasized.

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Earlier, virologist Prof. Dr. drh I Gusti Ngurah Kade Mahardika urged Balinese to stay vigilant, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Mahardika also attempted to view the trend of COVID-19 development in the context of the sun's position from the equator.

"Whether this is valid or not, I will tell the result later in April or May 2022," he noted.

However, looking at the case trend in 2021, the number of COVID-19 cases peaked when the sun's position was in the far north of the equator during the June-August period, while the number of cases started to decline in September when the position of the sun was at the equator.

"This may be related to the nature of the COVID-19 virus that is less resistant to hot weather. Hence, for December, we have to become more vigilant because of the high humidity," he noted.

However, if the COVID-19 vaccination was effective and the Omicron variant was relatively mild, there would not be a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in early 2022 or an increase in mortality due to the virus.

Mahardika is optimistic that COVID-19 vaccination in Bali would be able to achieve the target set by the government to form herd immunity and protect Balinese from the disease.

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Translator: Ni Luh R, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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