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Bali Government's Response to H1N1 Virus Praised.

BTB Chairman Salutes Government's Quick Response to Suspected Case of Swine Flu.

(5/16/2009) BisnisBali quotes the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), I. B. Ngurah Wijaya, as praising the government's quick and efficient handling of the suspected H1N1 Virus case involving a Dutch tourist landing at Bali's airport on May 10, 2009.

Said Wijaya: "I think the way in which officials handled the case was excellent. I only hope that such preparedness on the part of the government is not limited to instances in which there is 'case.'"

Michele Van Dorsen, one of 137 arriving passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 715, complained of fever and nausea while still on board the airplane inbound to Bali. [See: Dutch Tourist Isolated in Bali with H1N1 Symptoms]

Wijaya feels that the government must always be on guard to handle any threat to the public health, especially in cases of easily communicable diseases.

"Compared to Mexico, our preparedness is much better, including the way in which the case at Ngurah Rai Airport was handled," explained Wijaya.

The BTB Chairman admitted that the members of Bali's tourism industry were extremely worried to hear of a suspected case of H1N1 virus detected among arriving international passenger at Bali's airport. Justifying this anxiety, Wijaya went on to say: "For us, Bali is open, making it very possible for people carrying infectious diseases to easily enter the island. It is not possible for Bali to limit the arrival of visitors merely because there is a known virus in their home country".

Offering additional words of reassurance, Wijaya said: "At this time all countries are on guard, including Indonesia. Therefore the members of Bali's tourism industry do not need to be overly worried, providing the government of Indonesia remains on the alert."

Related Article

[Bali Remains Free of H1N1 Virus]