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Bali on Bird Flu Alert

Heath Officials Raise Alert Level Against Bird Flu for Bali After Death of Two Children Positively Linked to H5N1 Virus.

(10/14/2011) According to NusaBali, Bali has been declared “in extraordinary circumstances” (Kejadian luar biasa – KLB) following the death of two young children from Bangli confirmed to have succumbed to the H5N1 (Avian Flu Virus).

The “KLB” status has been confirmed by the vice-chairman of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-BALI), Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana, on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Said Kariyasa: “The KLB status is automatically implemented whenever deaths are confirmed. It is important to remember that in the near future Bali will host the ASEAN East Asia Summit attended by the president of the U.S.A. Barack Obama.”

In Kariyasa’s opinion, the KLB status signifies that it is time for the government to allocate tactical funds and social funding to control the spread of bird flu. He added that both the provincial government of Bali and the regional/municipal administrations across Bali must consider how best to prevent the further spread of the H5N1 virus.

“The provincial and regional/municipal administrations of Bali must continuously be on guard against this illness. What’s more, this disease has again taken the life of two children this past week,” explained the legislators from north Bali. Kariyasa insisted that corrective action cannot be further delayed; action must be taken soon. Adding, "if this is not done, we fear the plague of bird flu could damage the (Bali) tourism image." 

Kariyasa said government action alone will not be insufficient to battle bird flu. The public who keep poultry stocks must immediately report to livestock officials whenever their birds died unexpectedly in order that preventative steps can be taken. The livestock service, in turn, must be diligent in spraying poultry pens. Adding, “the government and affiliated agencies must tighten security at ports to prevent the smuggling of undocumented poultry.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, in Bali to attend a festival at Lake Batur - Kintamani, said,“ don't let the plague of bird flu widen to the point where it reduces the number of tourist arrivals to Bali.”