A medical worker shows a Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination drill at Bandung-based Padjadjaran University's medicine school on August 6, 2020. (Antara Photo/M Agung Rajasa)

Indonesia to Vaccinate 181 Million as Covid Cases, Deaths Rising Fast


DECEMBER 29, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian government will distribute coronavirus vaccine to 181 million of the country’s 270 million population starting next month, the health minister said Tuesday as newly cases and daily death toll are spiking at an unprecedented rate.

Newly-appointed Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the portion of the population to get the vaccine will be enough to create the so-called herd immunity against the virus.

“There are 188 million citizens of the age of 18 years and above. If we exclude those with serious comorbidity, pregnant mothers and Covid-19 survivors, the number (to get the vaccine) will be reduced to 181 million,” Budi said in a video conference in Jakarta.

Every one of them will get two doses of the vaccine while the government must also reserve an additional 15 percent of the vaccine as required by the World Health Organization, meaning that the country should provide at least 426 million doses, he added.

“This is a very huge number and the government is working hard to make sure we can secure supplies of that amount,” he said.

The government is the process of acquiring vaccines from at least four different sources.

The initial procurement program involved Chinese vaccine producers, most notably Sinovac Biotech whose vaccine is currently under clinical trial in Bandung, West Java.

Indonesia has secured a supply commitment for 125 million doses of Sinovac vaccine, the minister said.

In addition, the government also has signed a deal with US-based vaccine producer Novavax on the supply of another 130 million doses, he said.

At the same time, the government is pursuing a supply of 100 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK and at least 50 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine developed jointly by US and German firms, Budi said.

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Worst Period
There have been a total of 727,122 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday as Indonesia is enduring its worst period since the outbreak began.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths has been growing rapidly since mid-November and currently stands at a total of 21,703.

The country has added more than 188,200 coronavirus cases since the beginning of the month, already surpassing the previous monthly record by a huge margin.

Over the same period, at least 4,758 Covid patients have died, also beating the previous record for the highest monthly death toll.

An additional 251 Covid deaths were reported on Tuesday, the second-highest daily death toll since the outbreak. It’s for the fifth time that the daily death toll has topped 200, all occurring this month.

The country has added 7,903 cases in the past 24 hours, also the second-highest daily total after a record 8,369 reported on Dec. 3.

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Major Hotspots
Jakarta is the biggest contributor to the Tuesday’s tally with 2,056 new cases, the third time in the last five days it recorded over 2,000 cases in a single day. 

The capital city has a total of 179,660 cases and 3,228 deaths.

East Java is at a distant second with a total of 82,321 cases, but it has more Covid deaths than any other province.

The province has recorded a total of 5,701 Covid deaths, 64 more from the previous day.

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However, it’s Central Java that has become the deadliest place in the Indonesian outbreak in the last few weeks.

Central Java has been leading the daily death toll during most of the period, including with a new provincial record of 91 deaths on Tuesday for a total of 3,422. It surpassed Jakarta in the second place when it comes to the total number of deaths three days ago.

Central Java added 1,056 cases for a total of 79,826. It’s for the first time in a month that the province saw a four-digit daily number.

West Java has recorded 1,329 cases in the 24-hour period amid a highly fluctuating trend to take its total to 81,322, the third-biggest after Jakarta and East Java.

West Java is one of at least five provinces where newly cases are rising dramatically when compared to their figures in November. The country’s most populous province has added around 28,800 cases month to date, in comparison to a total of 16,179 cases it recorded in November.

South Sulawesi saw a new high of daily number with another 568 cases to pass the 30,000 mark in total. It’s the highest number of cases outside Java.

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The province has been averaging 323 cases since Dec. 1, in comparison to an average of a mere 77 cases in November.

While newly cases are in a steady decline in Riau and West Sumatra, several other provinces have been emerging fast as new hotspots, including Banten and Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta in the southern part of Java reported a total of 3,851 cases on Nov. 1 and within less than two months it has recorded a total of 11,602 cases, an increase of 201 percent.

Banten, a neighbor to Jakarta, saw an uptick in newly cases two months ago and by early December it joined the top ten of worst-affected provinces.

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