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Indonesia reports 54,000 virus cases, becomes Asian hotspot

Indonesia reports 54,000 virus cases, becomes Asian hotspot

Indonesia has reported more than 54,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time, surpassing recent daily infections in India, whose disastrous outbreak is declining, and becoming Asia’s new virus hotspotBy EDNA TARIGAN Associated PressJuly 14, 2021, 1:17 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia reported more than 54,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time Wednesday, surpassing recent daily infections in India, whose disastrous outbreak is declining, and becoming Asia’s new virus hotspot.Officials fear that the more highly transmissible delta variant is now spreading from the islands of Java and Bali, where outbreaks prompted a partial lockdown that closed places of worship, malls, parks and restaurants.“I predict the outbreak will increase continuously in July as we are not able yet to prevent the spread of infections,” epidemiology expert Pandu Riono at the University of Indonesia said Wednesday. “Emergency social restrictions are still inadequate. They should be twice as stringent since we are facing the delta variant, which is two times more contagious.”The Health Ministry reported 54,517 new cases and 991 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began above 2.6 million and the number of confirmed fatalities to more than 69,000.A month ago, daily cases were running at about 8,000.Reported daily cases in Indonesia are now higher than in India, despite Indonesia having far less testing by population.India reported fewer than 39,000 cases on Wednesday, far below its peak of more than 400,000 daily cases in May, following lockdowns in its worst-hit areas and a stepped-up vaccination drive.Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the government has identified the spread of the delta variant in some regions outside Java and Bali.He told lawmakers on Tuesday that across the country, more than 90,000 of the 120,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are occupied.“Nationally, we still have some room. But the bed occupancy rate is very high in some provinces where the explosion of the delta variant is concentrated,” Sadikin said.With the increase in deaths over the past month, some residents near Jakarta have begun helping overburdened gravediggers.“As the diggers are too tired and do not have enough resources to dig, the residents in my neighborhood decided to help,” said Jaya Abidin, who lives in Bogor on the outskirts of the capital. “Because if we do not do this, we will have to wait in turn a long time for a burial in the middle of the night.”The government is struggling to acquire enough vaccines to reach its target of inoculating more than 181 million of its 270 million people by March 2022. So far, only 15.6 million people have been fully vaccinated.So far, the world’s fourth-most populous country has secured 137.6 million doses of Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines, enough for about 69 million people.———Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma in New Delhi and photographer Achmad Ibrahim in Jakarta contributed to this report.

Red Cross warns Indonesia faces coronavirus catastrophe

Red Cross warns Indonesia faces coronavirus catastrophe

The Red Cross says Indonesia needs to urgently increase medical care, testing and vaccinations as the number of new infections in the country has rapidly increased and left it “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe.”By EDNA TARIGAN Associated PressJune 29, 2021, 5:12 AM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia needs to urgently increase medical care, testing and vaccinations as the number of new infections in the country has rapidly increased and left it “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe,” the Red Cross said Tuesday.The group said its coronavirus hospital in Bogor, outside of Jakarta, was “overflowing” and emergency tents had been set up to be able to house more patients. It was a similar scene at other hospitals near the capital, including in at the Bekasi city hospital that had 90% of its beds filled.“We are seeing record number of infections, but every statistic is a person who is suffering, grieving or struggling to support the people they love,” Sudirman Said, secretary general of Indonesian Red Cross, said in a statement. “Our medical teams are providing lifesaving care, with hospitals full to the brim and oxygen supplies critically low.”The surge in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, is being blamed in part on the delta variant of the virus, which was first spotted in India and is thought to be more contagious. Indonesia reported more than 20,600 new cases on Monday and more than 400 deaths.Indonesia has seen more than 2.1 million cases since the pandemic began and more than 57,500 deaths, both the most in Southeast Asia.Less than 5% of adults in the nation of 270 million people have been fully vaccinated. The Red Cross called for global action so countries like Indonesia can get the vaccines they need.————Associated Press writer Victoria Milko contributed to this report.———The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.