Australia’s northern neighbour Indonesia is being ravaged by another wave of Covid-19 as the number of cases passes 2.6million and 68,219 people have died.
The nation’s Covid statistics are now the worst in south-east Asia, with the per capita death toll now higher than India’s.
The highly contagious Delta variant combined with religious holiday travel and poor Covid controls and contact tracing outside the capital Jakarta are all blamed for the huge spike in cases.
Just this week the country’s Covid-10 Taskforce announced 40,427 cases on Monday and 47,899 new cases on Tuesday.
Those figures are widely believed to be a vast undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures.
Graveyard workers carry the coffin of a Covid-19 victim at the Keputih cemetery at Surabaya, East Java on July 9
Funeral workers bury a Covid-19 patient in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Indonesia on July 10. More than 68,000 Indonesians had now died from the virus
Covid-19 patients receive treatment using oxygen tanks outside the emergency room of a hospital at Surabaya, East Java, on July 11
Family members visit a relative’s grave at the Pedurenan Covid-19 public cemetery in Bekasi, West Java in this aerial picture taken on July 7, 2021
Indonesia’s most populous island of Java and popular tourist destination of Bali have been in lockdown since July 3, with only essential workers allowed to travel.
Earlier this month The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Indonesia was ‘teetering on the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe’.
Trainee doctors and new medial graduates were being drafted in to deal with the crisis as the country’s hospitals reached capacity and struggled to maintain oxygen supplies, the ABC reported.
The Indonesian Doctors Association also reported that at least 434 Indonesian doctors had died from Covid as of July 5, while the Indonesian Medical Association said 949 health workers had so far died from the virus.
‘All my friends are falling down. All of us are sick, or were sick. Everybody who works along with us [are] collapsing,’ Dr Lumanauw, a 29-year-old doctor, told the ABC.
Non-Covid patients are unable to get treatment at major hospitals due to the impact of the virus, The Jakarta Post reported.
It quoted Dewi Safitri, 17, who went to several hospitals in Jakarta to seek treatment for her mother who had injured her legs.
‘We went to around five hospitals on June 26, all of which rejected my mother because they were at full capacity with COVID-19 patients.’
Specialist public safety officers take a break from preparing Covid victims for burial in Jakarta on July 13
Covid-19 patients receive treatment using oxygen tanks outside the emergency room of a hospital in Surabaya, East Java, on July 11
Public safety officers who specialise in preparing the bodies of Covid-19 victims for burial, place the body of a victim in a casket on July 13 in Jakarta
Muslims pack a mosque for Friday prayers in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, on July 9, despite nationwide Covid restrictions to halt the rapid spread of the virus in the country
The country is running out of oxygen supplies and seeking emergency supplies from other countries.
A shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health devices arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia, said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia´s pandemic response.
Indonesian authorities had tried to curb the practice of ‘mudik’, where migrant workers travel back to their hometowns across the country’s archipelago to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid with their families, to stop the spread of the virus.
But it was clear many people ignored the restrictions.
Indonesia had administered more than 50million vaccinations shots as of July 11, with only about 15million, or 5.5percent, of the country’s 270 million people now fully vaccinated.
The country is attempting to get 1million shots into arms each day in its race to control the spread of the virus.