Scientist who led Indonesia’s Sinovac tests dies

Jakarta, Jul 8 (EFE).- Indonesian scientist Novilia Sjafri Bachtiar, in charge of the team that performs the clinical trials of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine in Indonesia, died from suspected Covid-19 symptoms, local media reported Thursday.

Novilia died Wednesday, a day that registered more than 1,000 deaths in the worst wave of the novel coronavirus in the archipelago, where there is a lack of oxygen tanks in hospitals to care for the infected.

BioFarma, the state company in charge of the local manufacture of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, expressed its condolences for the death of the scientist on its social networks, although it did not give a reason for her death.

However, some local media such as Kompas said Novilia was receiving intensive treatment in a hospital after being diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

State Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir also expressed his condolences on his Instagram account and indicated that the doctor was responsible for dozens of clinical trials conducted by BioFarma, including tests with Sinovac.

“(Sinovac) has been produced and inoculated in tens of millions of people in Indonesia, in response to our efforts to overcome the covid-19 pandemic,” the minister wrote.

The delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is though to be responsible for the large increase in Covid-19 in Indonesia, where hospitals are overwhelmed, mainly on the overcrowded island of Java.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the archipelago of 270 million inhabitants has accumulated 2.38 million infections and 62,900 deaths. EFE


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