The outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia (novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19) in Indonesia has been exacerbated by the previous Eid holidays and the spread of a variant of the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning today that the country should strengthen its epidemic prevention restrictions to avoid the spread of the variant virus.
According to foreign media reports, Indonesia has recorded 12,624 new cases today, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since February. The spike in cases is likely due to the tourism surge during last month’s Eid holiday and the spread of a new variant of the virus. Bed occupancy in Jakarta, the capital, has risen to 75 percent this week, up from 45 percent last week.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health said the Indian variant (Delta) of the virus has been detected in Jakarta, Central Java and East Java provinces. The WHO has now announced four “worrying” variants of the virus, and three have been found in Indonesia. The Ministry of Health believes that the Delta variant may be responsible for the recent surge of cases in Indonesia.
WHO said today that the surge in bed occupancy in Indonesia is a major concern and said that the country needs to take more and stricter measures to control the situation in order to prevent the spread of the variant virus.
In response, Indonesian President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) said vaccination will be accelerated to achieve herd immunity. The daily rate of vaccination will be increased from 500,000 to 1 million people in a single day by next month. The country has a population of about 270 million and 11.8 million people have been fully vaccinated, while another 9.6 million have received only their first dose of the vaccine.
Indonesia now has a cumulative total of 1.95 million confirmed cases and a total death toll of more than 53,753, making it the deadliest country in Southeast Asia. Some experts say that due to the lack of extensive screening, the actual number of diagnoses and deaths may be even higher than the official figures.