Delta variant pushes Indonesia towards "catastrophe"text_fields
Indonesia is now plagued with a rapid increase in Covid-19 infections with a more contagious Delta variant on the loose, leading the country to a disastrous edge and overwhelming hospitals.
The Red Cross pointed out on Tuesday that Indonesia has reported a record number of daily cases of at least 20,000 in the last few days. According to Reuters, the new wave of the pandemic is due to the emergence of rapidly transmitting virus strains and increased travel following the month of Ramadan during which Muslims observe fasting.
"Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe," said Jan Gelfand, head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as he appealed for proper distribution of vaccines worldwide.
Oxygen prices in the country have spiked more than double, with a scarcity of oxygen supply. Hospitals in "red zones" were reported to be inundated, including the capital Jakarta, with 93 per cent of isolation beds occupied as of Sunday. The Delta strain was first discovered in India and is responsible for a significant increase in infections in many countries.
Indonesia is counting on its vaccination drive to fight the virus. However, only 13.3 million of the 181.5 million of the eligible population have received two doses of anti-Covid vaccination since January.
As of Tuesday, Indonesia reported 20,467 new coronavirus cases and 463 deaths, bringing the total active cases to 2,156,465 cases and 58,024 deaths.