Experts warn COVID-19 could ‘explode’ in Indonesia amid a jump in case numbers

12-Jun-2021 Intellasia | ABC | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Indonesia will face “an explosion of cases” if health authorities don’t take action, epidemiologists have warned, following a jump in cases on the country’s two most populous islands.

Indonesia reported 8,892 new daily coronavirus infections on Thursday, the highest since February 23, taking its overall number of cases to 1,885,942.

Data from its coronavirus taskforce also showed 211 COVID-19 deaths reported on Thursday, taking total fatalities to 52,373.

Case numbers have risen sharply in Java and Sumatra three weeks after holidays that followed the Islamic fasting month, when millions ventured across the archipelago, ignoring a temporary travel ban.

Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Australia’s Griffith University, said Indonesia should take COVID-19 variants more seriously, particularly the Delta variant, which he said was in its early stage of spreading.

“If we don’t change our strategy, we will face an explosion of cases in the community, mortality will increase,” he said.

“It means sooner or later it will reach the more vulnerable… we will face an explosion of cases which we cannot contain or respond to in our health facilities.”

In Kudus, central Java, where healthcare reinforcements have been brought in, cases skyrocketed 7,594 per cent, according to Wiku Adisasmito of Indonesia’s COVID-19 taskforce.

Hospital capacity had hit 90 per cent there, local media reported.

Defriman Djafri, an epidemiologist from Andalas University in Pandang, said fatalities in West Sumatra in May were the most on record.

In Riau on Sumatra, daily cases more than doubled from early April to over 800 by mid-May, while the positivity rate was at 35.8 per cent last week, said Wildan Asfan Hasibuan, an epidemiologist and provincial taskforce advisor.

Wildan attributed the spike to increased mobility and possible spread of coronavirus variants, which have driven big spikes in many countries.

The impact of variants of concern are hard to determine in Indonesia, which has limited genomic sequencing capacity.

It also has testing and tracing shortfalls and its immunisation drive has progressed slowly, with one in 18 people targeted for inoculations fully vaccinated so far.

Recent studies have also indicated cases could be far higher than the nearly 1.9 million known infections, among Asia’s highest caseloads.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-11/covid19-indonesia-rising-cases-delta-variant-clusters/100208940

 

Category: Indonesia

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