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Indonesia records biggest single-day jump in COVID infections

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) Indonesian health officials on Monday announced the country’s biggest one-day jump in new coronavirus infections, as the number of confirmed cases in the country since the start of the pandemic surpassed 2 millions.

The health ministry said it had confirmed 14,536 new infections and 294 deaths. In addition to the more than 2 million infections, Indonesia has reported more than 54,950 deaths, the two most in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, has seen infections rise in recent weeks, a surge that has been blamed on travel in the final months of Eid al-Fitr as well as the arrival of new virus variants, such as the Delta version first found in India.

The increase puts pressure on hospitals like those in Jakarta where 80% of hospital beds are full and has added urgency to the government’s plans to vaccinate 1 million people every day by next month. Authorities have so far only fully vaccinated 12.3 million of Indonesia’s 270 million people and partially vaccinated 10.9 million others.

The World Health Organization noted last week that the drastic increase in bed occupancy rates in Indonesia is a major concern and requires the implementation of stricter public health and social measures, including restrictions. large-scale social.

The government has resisted a large-scale foreclosure over fears of the economic impact. Offices, restaurants. shopping centers and places of worship remain open, but at 50% of their capacity.

The situation is worrying, said Riris Andono Ahmad, epidemiologist at Gajah Mada University. We are facing the second wave of COVID-19 with the most transmissible variant and audiences with little respect for health protocols.

He called for more stringent measures.

All government efforts and policies to curb the transmission of COVID-19 will be ineffective if they give people the opportunity to come together and come together, he said.

The national COVID-19 task force said a spike in infections was seen in the provinces of Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java. All are located on Java, the most populous of the Indonesian islands with over 17,000 islands.

President Joko Widodo last week ordered authorities to increase the vaccination rate.

The slow progress in vaccinations so far can be attributed to the limited global supply, lack of preparedness of the national health system and reluctance to vaccinate, said Wiku Adisasmito, spokesperson for the national task force. COVID-19.

The government has so far received 104.7 million doses of the vaccine, including 94.5 million from Sinovac, 8.2 million from AstraZeneca and 2 million from Sinopharm. He expects to receive around 50 million doses of Pfizer in the coming months, followed by 50 million doses of Moderna.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said agreements to import around 104 million doses of AstraZeneca have been delayed and only 20 million doses are expected to arrive this year.

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