First person dies in Bali from coronavirus

·2-min read

Popular holiday destination Bali has recorded its first death from coronavirus.

Authorities confirmed on Wednesday the death of a 53-year-old British woman, marking Indonesia's first confirmed death from the rapidly spreading illness.

The woman was taken to hospital last week, with authorities unsure of whether she contracted the virus before or after arriving in Bali in February.

Indonesian health authorities said on Wednesday the woman had serious health problems.

"The patient had severe illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroid and lung disease," Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for the government's virus response team, told reporters in Jakarta.

Photo shows foreign tourists standing near an information banner on the coronavirus at a harbour as they wait for their departure in Bali, Indonesia.
Foreign tourists stand near an information banner on the coronavirus in Bali. Source: AP

The British embassy in Jakarta said it was "supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia and are in contact with local authorities".

Australian travellers should show caution, government warns

Australians, who make up a substantial percentage of tourists who holiday on the island, are advised to “exercise a high degree of caution” by the government’s Smartraveller site.

Health blogger Steph Pacca recently documented the health checks Indonesian authorities are rolling out at popular venues in Bali.

Indonesia said its number of confirmed virus cases had reached 34 on Wednesday, however,ba experts outside of Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world, have continuously questioned the nation’s total.

Photo shows an aerial view of a beach in Bali, Indonesia.
Tourists have been warned about travelling to Bali. Source: Getty, file

The Southeast Asian archipelago only reported its first novel coronavirus cases this month as scientists scrutinise the relatively low rate of infections.

The World Health Organisation said it was particularly concerned about high-risk nations with weaker health systems, who may lack the facilities to identify cases.

China remains the hardest-hit overall with more than 80,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, out of a global total of more than 120,000 cases and 4386 deaths across 114 countries.

Australia’s cases continue to rise, surpassing 100 earlier this week. Roughly one half of cases have occurred in NSW, with a cluster in Sydney’s northwest around Macquarie Park and neighbouring suburbs.

- with AFP

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