Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - At least 11 hotel employees in Bali who were close contacts of Surabayan tourists exposed to the Omicron variant have undergone PCR swab tests on Monday, an official has informed.

"(The hotel guests exposed to the Omicron variant) only interacted with food servers and cleaning service staff there. Today, 11 hotel staff who were their close contacts were tested by (PCR) swab," head of Bali Health Office, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, said in Denpasar on Monday.

According to Suarjaya, based on contact tracing of the Surabayan tourists, their interaction with others during their stay in Bali was minimal because they occupied a villa equipped with a private swimming pool and other facilities.

Earlier, the East Java authorities had said that the hotel guests visited Bali from December 20–25, 2021, but the hotel confirmed that they stayed from December 11–15, 2021, he informed.

"Considering the time, 14 days have passed, so the possibility of their being infected in Bali is very small," he stressed.

If the guests stayed from December 11–15, 2021, the virus incubation period has already passed, he explained. Moreover, according to the hotel's statement, there were no sick employees or staff exposed to COVID-19 in December 2021.

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"Because the employees had no symptoms and the incubation period is already over, there has been no action (no quarantine for the hotel staff), other than waiting for the results of the PCR swab test and continuing to monitor (the situation)," Suarjaya added.

It would be different had the Omicron-infected patients stayed in Bali at the end of December 2021, he said. Then, their close contacts would need to quarantine for five days and take another COVID-19 test, he added.

"Hopefully, this (infection of Surabayan guests) is not a sign of the Omicron variant (entering Bali). But we ask the public to stay calm and remain vigilant because the virus still exists," he said.

Suarjaya also reminded the Balinese people to remain disciplined in carrying out the 6M (wearing masks, washing hands, keeping distance, keeping away from crowds, reducing mobility, and avoiding eating together) health protocols and encouraging those who have not been vaccinated to get COVID-19 jabs.

"Certainly, until now, there are no Omicron cases detected in Bali, but there is a possibility as Bali's entrance gates are open," he remarked.

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Translator: Rhismawati, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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