Jakarta (ANTARA) - Bali authorities must improve testing, tracing, and treatment (3Ts) to curtail COVID-19 transmission in the province, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has said.
"The issue we have right now is that Bali's positivity rate remains at 38.3 percent, way above the 5 percent limit, which is the WHO (World Health Organization) standard," the Vice President noted during a meeting with the Bali COVID-19 handling task force on Friday.
Amin then asked the Bali authorities to increase testing to 15 thousand tests for every 1 million residents as the province's positivity rate has crossed 25 per cent.
"Weekly testing figures in Bali are already above WHO standard of one thousand tests for every 1 million residents, but we need to consider the Home Affairs Ministry's instruction to increase testing to 15 thousand for every 1 million residents, if positivity rate in a particular region increases to above 25 per cent," he elaborated.
The Vice President also urged the Bali authorities to increase the number of hospital beds and isolation points in all districts to cope with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the province. He particularly asked the authorities to pay attention to Buleleng district's bed occupancy rate, which has reached 94 percent.
"Bed occupancy rate has exceeded 70 per cent in all Bali districts, and in Buleleng district, the rate has reached 94 percent," Amin observed.
During the meeting, Bali Governor I Wayan Koster requested the Vice President to help accelerate the addition of new beds in Bali to alleviate the high bed occupancy rate.
Governor Koster also reported that he had coordinated with the Public Works and Housing Ministry on the supply of additional beds for Bali hospitals.
"I hope Mr. Vice President could push the Housing Minister to hasten efforts to supply new hospital beds for Bali hospitals," Koster said.
According to Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono, the current bed occupancy rate in Bali could be considered moderate due to the declining trend in positive cases. Despite the moderate level, addition of hospital beds in the province is necessary in anticipation of another COVID-19 wave in future, he said.
"(Bali hospitals) currently have 2,312 available beds. With 1,787 isolation beds being occupied, the province still has 600 vacant beds and more need to be added to cater for new patients," Harbuwono said.