Coronavirus: tourist dies of COVID-19 in the crowded Bali street

Bali authorities confirmed that a French tourist who was found slumped on a motorcycle in a busy street died of coronavirus and was not a “drunk tourist” as initially suspected.

Gerard Philippe Follet’s death was initially thought to have been alcohol poisoning or a heart attack after being found unresponsive in a busy Denpasar street eight days ago.

A day after the Frenchman’s death, Bali governor Wayan Koster denied the 72-year-old coronavirus after a photo emerged on social media of Mr Follet drinking alcohol in a bar.

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“It is not related to coronavirus, I have a photo, he was drinking tuak (alcohol), maybe he was dizzy while driving, he fell,” said Koster.

But a Saturday post mortem test confirmed Mr. Follet as the fourth case of coronavirus on the holiday island.

An almost empty beach in Kuta on Sunday. Image: Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP
media_cameraAn almost empty beach in Kuta on Sunday. Image: Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP

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“It was confirmed after a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that was coronavirus positive,” said Sanglah I Ketut Sudartana hospital official. The Jakarta Post.

A tourist who saw Mr. Follet collapse on the handlebars of his motorbike and raised the alarm with the police said that initially the agents thought they were a “drunk tourist”.

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“I thought it was a hit. I parked the bike and went over to him. I saw that he was breathing. Then I was thinking about the coronavirus, so I shouted at him but got no answer, “said the tourist, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

There have been suspicions of the low number of coronavirus cases in Bali. Image: AP Photo / Firdia Lisnawati
media_cameraThere have been suspicions of the low number of coronavirus cases in Bali. Image: AP Photo / Firdia Lisnawati

“So I went to a police station about 60 meters away and talked to them. At first they were reluctant to help, they thought he was just a drunk tourist.”

The man said the agents called an ambulance after evaluating Mr. Follet.

“I said this could be a coronavirus case. They agreed. They called a coronavirus response team,” said the tourist.

“He was breathing with shorter breaths, he was becoming increasingly pale, his lips were turning blue and then he stopped breathing. He had died before the coronavirus response team arrived. “

The death of the French tourist comes amid concerns about an underestimation of coronavirus cases in Bali, with experts calling his low number of “scientifically odd” cases, The Jakarta Post reported.

Bali has now confirmed four cases, none of the local broadcast. The rest are British and two Balinese citizens who recently returned from Italy and Jakarta.

Originally published as Tourist, he dies of viruses in Bali street

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