Indonesia expects COVID-19 cases to rise despite stricter curbs
– Indonesia anticipates COVID-19 infections to continue to rise for up to two weeks until Saturday’s limitations begin to cut instances for more than 100 million people, the ministry said.
Battling one of Asia’s deadliest coronavirus epidemics, the world’s fourth-most populated nation has witnessed record new infections on eight of the last 12 days, delivering 25,830 cases and a record 539 fatalities on Friday.
Saturday’s limitations on Java and Bali Islands — from tougher travel checks to a ban on restaurant eating and outdoor sports and the closure of non-essential enterprises — will continue until July 20, but might be extended to keep daily infections below 10,000 if needed.
“In the next 10 days, I think maybe two weeks, cases may continue to climb” as infections are now in the incubation stage before the limitations took effect, said Luhut Pandjaitan, a senior minister leading the government’s COVID-19 response.
“This two week is important for us,” he added.
Police placed road barriers and more than 400 checkpoints around Java, the archipelago’s most populated island, and Bali’s resort island to ensure people stay at home, with over 21,000 police deployed to enforce the restrictions and assist random coronavirus testing.
However, vaccinated travelers with a negative swab test may conduct long-distance travel.
Traffic and commuter lines in western Java’s capital Jakarta were significantly lower than normal on Saturday, but several people still flouted the limits to exercise and ride their bicycles, albeit the major route was shut.
Jakarta resident Clement, 45, who walked the street with his wife, told Reuters he disagreed with the limitations, albeit he lost a friend to the lung ailment.
“We realize it’s hazardous, but we should only present our immunization (certificate) and maybe an antigen (test result) if we want to go to the mall or elsewhere,” he added.
The extremely contagious Delta variety, originally found in India where it caused an infection spike, spreads in Indonesia and pushes hospitals across Java to the edge.
With near-capacity medical facilities, demand for oxygen and medications has risen for many home-isolated patients, driving up retail costs in pharmacies and online marketplaces.
Health ministry restricted medicine costs including Favipiravir, Remdesivir, and Ivermectin, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated.
Authorities also aim to expedite their immunization push in the worst-outbreak locations. His inoculation program covered just 7.6% of the 181.5 million individuals slated for injections by next January.
This weekend, Jakarta started mass immunization at a football stadium for children aged 12-17 to inject more than 20,000.
Indonesia will get foreign-donated vaccinations. Until now, it depended largely on a Sinovac Biotech vaccine (SVA.O). Learn more
Indonesia’s infection count is 2.2 million, with more than 59,500 deaths.
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