Indonesia battles skyrocketing Covid-19 cases as hospitals overflow

(Update 1: adds details from other SE Asian nations)

Jakarta, Jun 29 (EFE).- Indonesia is battling skyrocketing Covid-19 case numbers as the Red Cross warned on Tuesday of the collapse of hospitals.

It is the country in Southeast Asia hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and on Monday registered 20,694 infections and 423 deaths.

“Urgent increases are needed in medical care, testing and vaccinations as Indonesia teeters on the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe,” the international body said in a statement Tuesday.

“The more dangerous and deadly Delta Covid-19 variant is fueling infections that are skyrocketing across Indonesia, overwhelming hospitals and oxygen supplies in Jakarta and other areas of the country,” it added.

Indonesian Red Cross Secretary General Sudirman Said in the statement said its hospital in Bogor, West Java, “is overflowing.”

Across the country, 47 percent of hospital beds are occupied, and 93 percent in the capital Jakarta, according to official figures.

LaporCovid-19, a citizen surveillance platform, indicated that between June 14-25, at least 43 people allegedly infected with the coronavirus were rejected due to lack of beds in hospitals, of which at least three died.

When cases began to take off in June, President Joko Widodo increased restrictions across the country, while authorities in Jakarta implemented a night curfew and the closure of venues such as bars and gyms.

However, some politicians, including from Widodo’s party, and doctors think that stricter measures or even lockdowns should be implemented.

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