Jakarta. Indonesia reported 27,913 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday to continue a record-breaking run in daily numbers since the first day of the month, as lockdown in stricken areas began to take place.
The country now has a total of 2.26 million cases, including 60,027 deaths, government figures show.
The total number of active cases stands at 281,677, the highest ever since the outbreak began.
Improved testing capacity and the emergence of new, more transmittable variants of the virus have been attributed to the recent spike in newly cases.
Coronavirus cases have increased by four digits in five provinces in the most populated island of Java in the past 24 hours, with Jakarta returning as the epicenter.
The capital city added 9,702 cases for a total of 570,110 cases, including 8,516 deaths.
West Java, the country’s biggest province by population, recorded 5,393 cases to take its total to 397,947.
Central Java registered 3,224 new cases and now has a total of 262,325 confirmed cases.
East Java saw its tally increase by 1,439 to 177,257 while Yogyakarta added 1,358 cases for a total of 63,634. East Java remains the deadliest place in the Indonesian outbreak with a total of 12,827 deaths.
The five provinces along with Banten and the resort island of Bali were put under strict lockdown beginning on Saturday. Malls are ordered to shut until July 20 while non-essential businesses must apply work-from-home policy. Dine-in restrictions apply to all restaurants in Java and Bali and planned school reopening is cancelled.
Java and Bali are home to 70 percent of overall cases countrywide.
The health system in Jakarta, which accounts for 29 percent of the current number of active cases, is on the brink of being overwhelmed with less than 10 percent of hospital beds available for Covid-19 patients.
The recent spike will continue until at least the next two weeks, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.
“That’s because the incubation period of this virus is around two weeks,” said Luhut, who is in charge of the country’s Covid-19 handling in Java and Bali.
At the same time, the government is making efforts to ensure adequate supplies of medicine, oxygen generators and vaccine and to prevent their prices from soaring, he added.
"It’s already a daunting task to manage oxygen supplies as demands rise by six to seven times and we don’t want additional problems from people who try to take advantage from this situation. Prices must be kept at a reasonable level,” Luhut said.