The Attorney General’s Office opens drive-through coronavirus mass testing site for the public on August 6, 2020. (Beritasatu Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)
Indonesia Concludes Toughest Month Yet in Covid-19 Outbreak
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO & YUSTINUS PAAT
AUGUST 31, 2020
Jakarta. Indonesia has seen the toughest month yet in the coronavirus outbreak with daily cases passing the 3,000 mark for the first time and Jakarta also starting to report four-digit daily rises.
Southeast Asia’s biggest country has a total of 174,796 cases, including 7,417 deaths, as of Monday.
It has been averaging 2,143 cases since the beginning of the month for a total of 66,420 cases in August alone, representing a 28 percent rise from last month’s total.
The daily total passed the 3,000 mark for the first time on Friday, followed by a dramatic surge of 3,308 cases the following day.
The greater pace in Indonesia’s transmission rate is mainly attributable to surging cases in Jakarta and East Java, while several provinces like West Java, North Sumatra and East Kalimantan have emerged as new hotspots.
Jakarta has seen an uptick in cases since early August and the total number of confirmed cases of the virus passed 40,000 on Monday.
Its daily total has exceeded 1,000 for the last two days -- no other provinces have reported a four-digit figure in a single day since the outbreak.
New cases in the capital have averaged more than 600 during the month, through which it has added more than 18,600 cases. Compared to last month, Jakarta’s total in August has spiked by 87 percent.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan blamed a lack of compliance among employees at Jakarta offices to the basic medical advice of wearing masks.
“They wear masks while on public transportation but remove them once they arrive at their office,” Anies said in a videoconference in Jakarta.
He said without providing any details that the transmission rate at public transportation is lower than at offices.
The spiraling outbreak in Jakarta got the attention of President Joko Widodo, who led a meeting on this specific issue earlier in the day.
East Java has the second highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, totaling 33,543 as of Monday, but it leads the national tally on the number of Covid-19 deaths.
The province reported a total of 2,370 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, nearly double the overall fatalities in Jakarta.
It has been experiencing a surge throughout August although at a slower pace than Jakarta’s.
East Java has been averaging 369 cases during the month, in comparison to an average of 318 cases in July.
Central Java is at a distant third with 13,964 cases as the surge is a bit slowing compared to last month.
South Sulawesi also managed to contain the daily cases within a two-digit figure, but it remains in the fourth place with 11,978 cases.
Meanwhile, West Java saw the biggest increase of cases in August after Jakarta and East Java. It has added 4,531 cases throughout the month, averaging 146 cases per day.
Its total number of confirmed cases stood at 11,063 on Monday and it will overtake South Sulawesi early in September if the trend continues.
North Sumatra and East Kalimantan have emerged as new hotspots with daily cases frequently hitting three digits.
The number of cured or discharged Covid-19 patients totaled 125,959 nationwide, or 72.1 percent of the total cases. The country is still dealing with 41,420 active cases of the virus.