A tent designated for Covid-19 patients is erected at Cengkareng Hospital in West Jakarta on June 24, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia Prepares for Worst-Case Scenario as Covid Cases and Deaths Set New Record

BY :LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN, HERU ANDRIYANTO

JULY 06, 2021

Jakarta. The Indonesian government is anticipating a continued surge in newly Covid-19 cases by setting up more isolation facilities and securing medical supplies as daily figures hit a new high on Tuesday.

The military and the police were ordered to erect tents as makeshift wards for Covid patients and the government mulls importing oxygen cylinders.

The country has recorded 31,189 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2.3 million, government figures show. 

The latest daily number beats the previous record of 29,745 cases reported a day earlier.

A further 728 Covid patients have died in the 24-hour period, the highest daily death toll since the outbreak started, taking the total number of Covid-related fatalities to 61,868.

Southeast Asia’s biggest country currently has around 324,500 active cases of the virus, with provinces in Java making up a vast majority.

“The number can still increase to 40,000 cases or more. We are taking actions to cope with all possible scenarios in terms of medical supplies, oxygen and hospital capacity,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said in a video conference.

In Greater Jakarta, the government is converting Haj pilgrim dormitory in Pondok Gede, Bekasi, into a makeshift Covid hospital with 900 beds, said Luhut, who is in charge of Covid mitigation in Java and Bali.

“At the same time, the TNI (Indonesian Military) and the National Police are also setting up treatment facilities in their properties in Jakarta and Surabaya. We are using all resources at our disposal,” he added.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said earlier the makeshift hospital in Pondok Gede is expected to become operational on Thursday.

The military said they have prepared isolation facilities in several areas in Jakarta with a capacity of 650 beds. 

If the crisis is worsening to the extent that the country needs foreign assistance, the government has already opened talks with Singapore, China and some other countries, Luhut said.

The same official said earlier the recent surge in Covid cases was attributed to the Delta strain, especially in worst-affected Jakarta.

“According to our data, the Delta variant made up 90 percent of new transmissions in Jakarta,” Luhut said.

The capital city is home to 23 percent of overall cases countrywide and has been reporting record-breaking daily numbers for the last couple of weeks.

The government has put all six provinces in Java and the resort island of Bali under Covid lockdown, in effect until July 20. International visitors are required to show proof of having at least the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

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