For most of last year, Indonesia seemed to be largely in control of its Covid-19 outbreak.
The archipelago’s habitat of about 2.270 million people has now become the new epicenter of the Asia pandemic, with more daily incidents and deaths reported than in India, the second worst-hit state among the islands.
With thousands of infections being recorded every day, experts say the country’s healthcare system could be on the brink of disaster if the virus continues to spread.
Transmissions began to increase towards the end of May, following the holiday of Da-al-Fitr towards the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan – and soon increased significantly.
According to health experts, the crisis is being exacerbated by the spread of a more contagious delta form first identified in India.
In late June, Jan Gelfand, the head of the Indonesian delegation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said: .
Experts have blamed the government for its slow response to the failure to strictly implement the lockdown last year The first cases in the country were reported, and there are allegations of failure to invest in efficient testing and tracing systems.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, a total of about 3 million cases have been reported in Indonesia as of July 20, and more than 767,000 people have died. But experts fear that in the absence of tests, these figures will underestimate the actual spread in the country.
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in July said the problem of inadequate testing still persisted, with more than 50% of provinces reporting test rates below the proposed benchmark.
“Without proper scrutiny, many provinces are unable to differentiate between confirmed cases in a timely manner,” the report said.
In early July, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told CNN Authorities at first did not realize how quickly the virus had spread in this latest wave.
The islands of Java and Bali, along with other cities in the archipelago, were placed under emergency emergency on 3 July. Domestic travel is not limited, although it is dependent on the negative Covid-19 test.
On July 20, Indonesia extended the Kovid-19 ban until July 25.
Due to the spread of highly contagious delta forms across Indonesia, busy streets in the city of Jakarta are usually busy on July 15, 2021.
According to experts, the second wave has affected every age. However, the number of children infected with the virus in Indonesia has quadrupled in recent weeks, according to the country’s pediatric society.
More than 550 children have died since the epidemic began – about 227% of whom died in the first few weeks of July.
According to Aman B. Pulungan, president of the Indonesian Society of Pediatrics, parents often misdiagnosis the symptoms of a common cold and do not test children.
“When they realize it’s Kovid-19, the situation is already bad,” Aman said. “When they take the kids to the hospital, a lot of the time we don’t have enough time to save the kids. It’s happening a lot.”
Frontline staff have also been affected by the relief. In early July, more than 350 doctors and medical staff in Java caught the Covid-19 after vaccinating the Chinese-made Synovac. Most of the workers became emotional and self-isolated at home, but a few were hospitalized with high fever and low oxygen-saturation levels.
Read more about the Kovid-19 crisis in Indonesia here.
CNN’s Amy Sudd contributed to the reporting.