Jakarta hit by oxygen distribution problems as Covid cases surge

Jakarta, Jun 30 (EFE).- Authorities in the Indonesian capital are struggling to resolve problems in distributing oxygen cylinders as demand has peaked due to a Covid-19 surge in the country, with over 20,000 daily infections reported in the last three days.

On Wednesday, Jakarta witnessed long queues outside oxygen cylinder stores, even as the authorities have insisted that there is no shortage of oxygen cylinders but admitted facing logistical issues in their distribution.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan told a local broadcaster that he had mobilized vehicles of the transport and parks department to speed up the delivery of cylinders, whose prices have also shot up.

The Red Cross on Monday warned of an imminent collapse of the hospitals in Indonesia, where 47 percent of the beds were occupied according to official data, although in Jakarta occupancy is as high as 93 percent.

The international body added that the latest coronavirus surge is linked to the Delta variant, first detected in India and considered the most infectious by experts.

With hospitals getting overwhelmed in many parts of the country – which registered 21,807 fresh cases and 467 deaths on Wednesday – authorities are considering increasing restrictions that have been less strict than other countries of the region so far.

Indonesia, with a population of around 270 million, has recorded the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia, with around 2.17 million infections and over 58,000 deaths registered so far.

Recent outbreaks of the disease have also sprung up in other countries of the region such as Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, even as vaccination is progressing at a slow pace.

According to the website Our World in Data, Vietnam has completely vaccinated just 0.2 percent of the population, while the figure stands at 3.9 percent for Thailand, 4.9 percent in Indonesia and 6.8 percent in Malaysia. EFE


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