More than 1,000 people di‌e every day, Indonesia reels from the Covid-19 war

Indonesia is mobilizing all resources to control the Covid-19 epidemic, as the number of deaths and deaths continuously increases to a record.

Carrying full personal protective equipment, Harry Akbar climbed into his ambulance. It was early July, and this volunteer ambulance driver had just picked up a 56-year – old Covid-19 patient in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta.

However, the hospital he drove to first turned the patient away because of the lack of beds. After scouring around Tangerang, he decided to try his luck in Jakarta.

After 6 hours on the road and being rejected by 12 hospitals, Akbar and the patient decided to stop and return home. The next day, Akbar returned to the patient’s residence, intending to continue the search for the hospital.

But the patient di‌ed, just three hours after being brought home by Akbar the day before.

“I don’t know, because he was still aware when I brought him home. He could still talk,” Akbar told CNA .

Akbar’s story shows how overwhelmed Indonesia’s health system is when the number of Covid-19 cases in the country spikes.

After the first wave of Covid-19 last year, the epidemic seemed to have “cooled down” in the first quarter of this year, as Indonesians began to get used to the new normal. However, things turned darker after the holiday in May, when the number of infections continuously set a record in Indonesia.

Despite urgent measures being implemented, hospital beds are still short and many Covid-19 patients have been denied treatment, forcing them to self-isolate at home.

Indonesia currently records the highest number of deaths and daily infections in the world. Experts fear Indonesia could have lasting damage as the pandemic continues.

As of July 30, Indonesia has recorded more than 3.3 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 92,000 deaths. In recent days, on average, every 24 hours, Indonesia has more than 1,000 people di‌e from Covid-19.

The Indonesian government has confirmed that most of the current Covid-19 cases in the country are due to the Delta mutation. Dr. Masdalina Pane, a member of the as‌sociation of Indonesian Epidemiologists (PAEI) and the Covid-19 task force, also said that about 92% of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia are people infected with the Delta variant.

With the number of daily infections regularly surpassing the 25,000 mark, the Indonesian government has decided to implement emergency restrictions, starting from July 3 until July 25 on the densely populated island of Java as well as Bali. Restrictive measures were then enforced in 15 regions other than Java and Bali.

The body of a Covid-19 victim is buried in Indonesia (Photo: Reuters).

Dr. Lia Partakusuma, General Secretary of the as‌sociation of Hospitals in Indonesia, said that by early July, hospitals in Indonesia were almost full. On the island of Java, the rate of beds with patients in many hospitals has reached 90%. Patients are encouraged to self-isolate at home unless they are seriously ill.

Despite the government’s as‌surances that there would be an adequate supply of oxygen on the island of Java, dozens of patients are believed to have di‌ed at a hospital in Yogyakarta in early July after the facility ran out of oxygen.

Indonesian officials say oxygen delivery has been hampered by a three- to four-fold increase in demand. Oxygen production facilities are required to dedicate their entire supply to medical purposes.

Across Java and Bali, long lines of people waited at oxygen facilities as people tried to buy oxygen for their loved ones with Covid-19. Some people buy oxygen for loved ones who are self-isolating at home, while others need to buy oxygen for loved ones who are hospitalized because the hospital is running out of oxygen.

On July 9, Indonesian Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono said that Java’s oxygen production capacity is 1,400 tons per day, but Java and Bali need 2,600 tons per day.

According to the Indonesian Center for Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI), in West Java province, more than 400 Covid-19 patients di‌ed in the first week of July while isolated at home. Meanwhile, citizen data platform LaporCOVID-19 recorded 1,100 deaths at home between June and July 30 in 17 provinces, including elderly people who di‌ed alone at home while isolated. glass.

The government is also working to address the shortage of medical staff. Authorities are trying to recruit about 3,000 doctors and 16,000-20,000 nurses from people who have just graduated or are in their final year.

To limit Covid-19, the Indonesian government aims to optimize the testing, tracing and treatment of patients in Java and Bali, starting from July 26. Indonesia also plans to set up centralized isolation centers to monitor patients and strengthen vaccination campaigns.

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