Indonesia now Asia’s Covid-19 epicentre as daily cases exceed India

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Indonesia has become the epicentre of Covid-19 in Asia as the daily case count has exceeded India’s. The country reported 56,757 new cases and 982 coronavirus-related deaths yesterday, surpassing India’s count of 39,072 new cases and 544 deaths. With the highest number of daily cases, the archipelago country of 270 million people is now the new Covid-hotspot in Asia, and if the spread continues at its current rate, experts say it could send the nation’s healthcare system into chaos.

But to put that into perspective, per capita, it’s about the same rate of new cases as Thailand at this time.

Some speculate that the numbers in Indonesia are in fact much higher than reported. In Jakarta, almost half of the 10.6 million residents contracted Covid-19, according to a recent survey. With the recent uptick in cases said to be due to the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, officials are concerned the healthcare system won’t be able to handle a rise in the number of Covid patients needing hospital care.

Last month, when cases first started to increase, the head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Jan Gelfand, told CNN that the spread of the infectious mutated strain is sending the country closer to a “Covid-19 catastrophe.” The number of cases has increased since then and the situation has worsened. Emergency lockdown measures have been set on the islands of Bali and Java, which includes Jakarta.

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“Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe.”

Only about 5.5% of the population in Indonesia has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus including about 2 million people in Jakarta, according to CNN.


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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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