A funeral worker recites Islamic prayer as colleagues dig a grave for a Covid-19 victim at Padurenan Public Cemetery in Bekasi, West Java on June 18, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Newly Covid-19 Cases Trending Down, Daily Death Toll Still Within 4 Digits
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO, TRIYAN PANGASTUTI
JULY 18, 2021
Jakarta. The number of newly Covid-19 cases in Indonesia has been trending down in the last three days as an early indication that the ongoing lockdown in Java and Bali begins to generate results, but the daily death toll continues to top 1,000.
The country recorded 44,721 new cases on Sunday -- the lowest daily tally since July 13 and well below a record 56,757 cases three days ago -- to take its total to 2.88 million, according to Health Ministry data.
But Sunday also saw the lowest number of diagnostic tests in six days, with around 138,000 people undergoing either PCR-based or antigen tests, down by 50,500 from the figure a day earlier.
There have been 1,093 Covid-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 73,582.
It’s the second-highest daily death toll after more than 1,200 deaths recorded on Friday and the fifth time since the outbreak began that it exceeds the 1,000 mark.
A three-week lockdown has been reimposed across stricken Java and Bali since July 3 and it’s very likely that the government will extend the period until at least the end of the month.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced yesterday that the Covid-19 response budget has been increased to Rp 744.75 trillion [$51 billion] from originally Rp 699.43 trillion.
Healthcare spending takes the biggest share of the upgraded budget, amounting to Rp 214.95 trillion. This fund will go to hospitals, isolation facilities and the vaccination program.
“We need to add this particular spending due to an uptick in the number of Covid-19 patients,” she said in a joint press conference with other related ministers.
With this budget, the government will build more makeshift Covid-19 hospitals, purchase millions more of vaccine doses, recruit 3,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses and compensate hospitals involved in Covid-19 handling, she added.
The government also allocated Rp 187.84 trillion for social assistance program, including cash payment, basic commodities and subsidies on electricity fares for the most vulnerable families.
Incentive for small and medium enterprises is set at Rp 161.2 trillion, down by Rp 10.5 trillion from the original budget.
The budget also includes Rp 30 trillion for job creation program that will cover 8.4 million job seekers across the country, the minister said.