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Indonesia “on the edge of catastrophe”

A statement by Red Cross on the rapid Delta variant spread brings flashbacks of India’s calamity

Indonesia is now suffering from the overwhelming surge of the more infectious COVID-19 variant. World Health Organisation’s (WHO) data as of 1 July revealed Indonesia’s highest infections in Southeast Asia surpassing 2.2 million, with 58,995 deaths. Add the scrambling for oxygen into the mix triggers flashbacks of India’s ordeal.

The next Delta variant hotbed
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo announced a lockdown on its main island Java after massive outbreaks hit the country. The lockdown will last two weeks and reduce the number of cases to below 10,000 a day. However, the country is keeping the essentials running albeit at half strength: such as finance and banking, information technology (IT), communications, hotels, and exports. Companies in critical sectors including energy, health, logistics and transportation, and food supplies, will be exempted from the measures.

Jan Gelfand, Head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said: “Every day we are watching this Delta variant drive Indonesia closer to a COVID-19 catastrophe. The Indonesian Red Cross Society added: “The more dangerous and deadly Delta variant is fuelling infections across Indonesia and overwhelming hospitals and oxygen supplies in Jakarta and other parts of the country.”

Like India, overwhelmed hospitals turned patients away, and families resorted to taking things into their own hands. One is by going on a fruitless frantic search for oxygen. LaporCovid-19’s data revealed at least five doctors and one nurse in Indonesia have succumbed to COVID-19 despite being vaccinated or received the first dose.

Japan will be donating 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in July, according to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. Indonesia will also be receiving a portion of the 16 million doses the United States pledged to donate to Asia.

Marine Online News Team
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