COVID-19: Jayawijaya cancels Baliem Valley Cultural Festival as health precaution - Tourism Indonesia


Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19: Jayawijaya cancels Baliem Valley Cultural Festival as health precaution

Dani tribe people of Ugem Village, Baliem Valley, West Papua. ( )
The Jayawijaya regency administration in Papua has cancelled the 31st Baliem Valley Cultural Festival as a precautionary measure to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in the area.
The annual cultural festival is scheduled to be held on Aug. 5 to 9 at Walesi district in the regency.
Jayawijaya Regent Jhon Richard Banua said the decision was made following the central government’s announcement of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
As of Thursday, health authorities had announced 34 confirmed cases on COVID-19. Three of the cases have since recovered, while a British woman, identified as Case 25, died in Bali.
The regent said the festival would attract many foreign tourists, making the area vulnerable to  a virus outbreak. The cold weather of Jayawijaya and nearby regencies – Lanny Jaya, Tolikara, Central Memberamo, Puncak, Puncak Jaya and Nduga – are deemed suitable for the virus to survive.

If the outbreak occurs in Papua, the eight regencies would not be ready to provide treatment, he said, as healthcare facilities were very limited in the area following a racial conflict in September last year.
Jhon went on to say that local administrations had attempted to put on a ban on foreign tourists from entering the regency.
“We are monitoring the development of the coronavirus. A letter on the ban has been prepared,” the regent told journalists in Wamena on Wednesday.
The regency’s culture and tourism agency has dispatched a health team to monitor the location and health condition of foreign tourists in Jayawijaya, the regent added.
Jayawijaya Culture and Tourism Agency head Alpius Wetipo said the regent’s circular on the ban would be distributed to the public, relevant agencies and ministries in Jakarta.
“This virus spreads very fast. Authorities have to move fast,” Alipus said. (JakartaPost)

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