News

The potential of pregnant women being put at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and the high number of pregnancies recorded a few months before the pandemic are causes of concern for local officials in Bali, who are now recommending people to postpone their pregnancy to avoid a risky baby boom.

Bali is set to reopen its doors to foreign tourists in September, the provincial government has announced, following months of travel, social, and movement restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has not shown any signs of slowing down in the popular holiday destination.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Central Java this morning, with tremors reportedly felt in parts of Bali. There have been no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

Police were said to have used a water cannon on activists during a peaceful rally held by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in Denpasar earlier today, along with reports of alleged physical assault against some participants, who were commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the Biak massacre.

Hundreds of people attended mass prayers in Bali as officials in Indonesia’s top tourist destination appear set to follow their tentative plan to kickstart the so-called “new normal” and eventually reopen for tourists, the first phase of which would begin this coming Thursday at the local level.

The regent of Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is requiring civil servants to wear the niqab (face veil adorned by many Muslim women) because they have not been wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an approach he said has nothing to do with radicalism and is more of a “fashionable” choice.

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