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Indonesia, What explains Bali's low coronavirus cases?

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  • Indonesia, What explains Bali's low coronavirus cases?

    Dr Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist who has helped formulate Indonesia's Ministry of Health pandemic management strategy for 20 years, also believes the real number of COVID-19 in Bali is much higher than the official tally.

    He said the spread is going undetected because of a lack of testing and underreporting caused by cultural norms that encourage traditional healing at home.

    He also theorised that many COVID-19 infections in Bali are being misdiagnosed as dengue fever - a disease spread by mosquitoes.

    "There is an extraordinarily high number of dengue cases in Bali right now - more than 2,100 cases - and I believe that is because testing for dengue is easier, cheaper and faster than testing for COVID-19."

    The theory is corroborated by a recent study in the peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet, which describes two patients in Singapore who received false-positive results for dengue and were later confirmed to have COVID-19.