Hospital staffs wear protective suits as they serve a patient at a public health center, Puskesmas, in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Sept. 24, 2020. Riau has seen the highest surge in coronavirus cases among other Indonesian provinces in the month. (Antara Photo/FB Anggoro)

Coronavirus is Spreading Faster in Riau, West Sumatra 


OCTOBER 12, 2020

Jakarta. Riau and West Sumatra have been experiencing a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the month, with daily numbers nearly matching those of four worst-hit provinces on Java Island.

Both have been averaging more than 200 cases in the last 11 days, beating the daily average in East Kalimantan that earlier saw an uptick in cases.

Riau has added 2,349 cases month-to-date, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 9,971. It's set to pass the 10,000 mark today, joining only nine other provinces that have reached the grim milestone.

West Sumatra had only 2,157 cases on August 31 but has since recorded a dramatic surge for a total of 8,714 on Sunday, when it saw a new one-day high of 350 cases.

Covid-19 cases in the two provinces already outnumbered other provinces on Sumatra island that earlier were hit badly by the virus, such as North and South Sumatra and Aceh.

Both also have reported a higher growth in cases than that of the last five provinces in the top ten – South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Bali.

That added complication to the already dire situation in the country, which saw nearly 4,500 cases on Sunday to take its total to 333,449, including 11,844 deaths. There has been no clear indications of when the country will reach its peak as testing capacity is highly varied among all 34 provinces.

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Indonesia has been averaging 4,222 cases since Oct. 1, in comparison to an average of 3,740 cases in September.

Jakarta, the hardest hit by the virus, recorded 1,389 more cases, the second-highest single-day rise, to take its total to 86,963, including 1,889 deaths. It remains the only province to have a four-digit daily number by average.

The surge is slowing a bit in East Java, whose daily numbers already fell below those of Central and West Java. It averages 295 cases this month, with a total of 46,984 cases. But it remains the deadliest place of the Indonesian outbreak, with 3,425 Covid-19 deaths so far.

West Java has added more than 5,000 cases since the start of the month, taking its total to 27,236. The country's most populous province has doubled its total number of cases in September and reported an even higher growth in daily count so far this month.

Central Java also saw an uptick in cases, averaging 361 cases per day. It now has a total of 26,401 cases, including 1,507 deaths. Only three provinces have reported more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Daily numbers are fluctuating in South Sulawesi, whose daily average returned to the three-digit territory after seemingly experiencing a slowdown in newly cases in the first week of the month. It has a total of 16,738 cases.

Indonesia has to deal with around 66,500 active cases of the virus, altough more than 255,000 Covid-19 patients have been cured or discharged form hospitals.