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Aussie Tourists Urged To Take Caution After Coronavirus Hits Bali

Australian tourists are being warned to stay vigilant in Bali, after a man who visited the island in late January reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

The man, a Chinese national, is understood to have flown on Lion Air flight JT2618 from Wuhan to Bali on January 22, the Jakarta Post reported. He stayed on the popular tourist island for about a week before flying on Garuda Indonesia flight GA858 from Bali to Shanghai on January 28.

Further details of his movements -- including the hotel he stayed at -- have not been released.

Aussie tourists, along with other visitors to Bali, have been advised to stay cautious -- to avoid spending time around those who appear unwell, to wash  hands often, and to monitor their health closely and see a doctor if they start feeling flu-like symptoms.

Indonesian health officials check body temperature of foreign tourists arriving from Bali island heading to tourist area Gili Trawangan. Image: Getty
A Chinese tourist wearing a face mask on holiday in Bali, as a preventative measure following the coronavirus outbreak. Image: Getty

Ketut Suarjaya from Bali Health Agency said officials were trying to figure out the travel history and the activities of the patient, identified only as Jin.

"We don't know yet where exactly he was infected. We don't know yet whether he was infected with the coronavirus before he went to Bali," Suarjaya told the publication.

There is a possibility that he got the virus when he returned to China.

The Post reported two Chinese patients were being treated in the isolation room of Sanglah Hospital in Bali. The hospital is understood to have treated 32 patients since the coronavirus outbreak -- with all previous 30 tests coming back negative.

Aussies In Bali

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) "strongly recommends that travellers take our full medical insurance as the costs of medical evacuations can be extremely high".

Travellers should take precautionary measures, and those who feel unwell are advised to see a doctor immediately.

"Keep a distance from sick people, especially if they have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing... Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often," DFAT advises.

An officer wears a protective mask and gloves as a preventative measure against coronavirus at Bali's international airport. Image: Getty
Travel Ban To Affect Bali Economy

Chinese tourists made up 22 percent of the island's visitors in 2018, with Australians coming in a close second at 19 percent, according to the latest statistics from the Bali Hotels Association.

From early February, Indonesian authorities have temporarily denied entry and transit to foreign nationals who have been in mainland China during the last 14 days due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Indonesia also stopped direct flights to and from mainland China until further notice.

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"We will consider those issues on the best medical advice," Prime Minister Scott Morrison.