The surge in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, due to the Delta strain of coronavirus, has been exacerbated by insufficient resources.
Java, the country’s main island, ran short of oxygen supplies, resulting in the death of 33 patients at Dr Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta on Saturday, according to Banu Hermawan, a hospital spokesperson.
The country currently has 295,000 active cases, with a total of 2.2 million cases and 60,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Indonesia’s population is 270 million.
“The spread of this virus variant is very fast,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said during an online seminar on Sunday, where he suggested the virus had arrived through the country’s ports.
Read more: The rise of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea
“Because many seaports in Indonesia carry goods and many also come from India, they enter from there.”
Other experts have suggested the resurgence is due to travel at the end of Ramadan, where people headed to their home towns, along with lack of cohesive health policies and confusing messaging about restrictions and safety.
Tougher restrictions and enforced curfews have now been introduced.
“We are setting up (patrols) in 21 locations where typically there are crowds,” said Istiono, the head of national traffic police, on Friday.
“Where there are street stalls and cafes, we will close those streets, maybe from around 6pm until 4am.”
To date, Indonesia has administered 45.5 million doses of vaccine. Around 5% of Indonesians are fully vaccinated, which is lower than the 7% of Australians who are fully vaccinated from approximately 8 million doses.
The country suspended use of AstraZeneca following concerns about side effects, so most of the vaccine administrations have been with Sinovac.
Read more: I’m under 40 – should I get the AstraZeneca vaccine?
Currently Indonesia is set to receive donations and vaccines from other countries co help curb te spread of COVID-19. Australia is donating $77 million for vaccine procurement.
Originally published by Cosmos as COVID-19 surge in Indonesia compounded by lack of resources
Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.
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