In late July, the governor of Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, reopened the island to domestic tourists, including those from provinces hard hit by the coronavirus.
Now the governor, I Wayan Koster, is paying the price.
He disclosed this week that more than 20 workers at his official residence had tested positive for the coronavirus, including aides, a waiter, a gardener and a typist.
Mr. Koster said he had tested negative. But his wife, Putri Suastini, said in an Instagram video posted on Saturday that she had tested positive, albeit without showing any symptoms.
Bali, the engine of Indonesia’s tourism industry, has long attracted domestic and foreign tourists with its wide beaches, scenic rice fields, religious ceremonies and an active volcano.
Mr. Koster, who previously promoted inhaling the steam of a traditional alcoholic beverage as a treatment for Covid-19, said this week that he was “horrified” by the spread of the illness in his household. He urged people to take the virus seriously, saying: “If anyone says that the coronavirus is a conspiracy, it is not true.”
The governor said last month that more than 75,000 people on the island were out of work. Many hotel workers have returned to their home villages, where they can help their families grow food. Others, who don’t have access to farmland, are struggling to feed themselves.
Since reopening to domestic travelers at the end of July, Bali’s reported cases have more than doubled to 8,389 and the number of deaths has risen more than fivefold to 245. The central government has said it will not open the island to foreign tourists until at least the end of the year.
In Australia, the health minister for the state of Victoria resigned on Saturday after an inquiry into the causes of a second wave of infections in Melbourne. The state’s premier had blamed the minister, Jenny Mikakos, for her role in a bungled quarantine program that allowed returning travelers to spread the virus via hotel security guards. Ms. Mikakos said in a statement announcing her resignation that she was “deeply sorry for the situation that Victorians find themselves in,” but she said it was not a result of her actions. Melbourne, Victoria’s state capital, is expected to ease its lockdown rules on Monday.