Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases are nearing 2 million, with hospitals starting to fill up as the country grapples with the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus.
The government confirmed 13,737 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 1.99 million.
Deaths have begun to pick up as the COVID-19 hospitalization rate exceed 70 percent in 87 cities across the country, with 371 people dying from the disease on Sunday — the worst since April, government data showed.
“Because this is concentrated in certain regencies and cities, we can still mobilize resources from other areas,” Indonesian National Nurses Association chairman Harif Fadhillah said. “If we let this continue, the situation can become urgent and critical.”
Indonesia is heavily relying on vaccines to stem the pandemic, with a pledge to administer 1 million doses per day next month, as well as movement restrictions.
All non-essential businesses must stop operating at 8pm, while religious and social gatherings are banned in areas most at-risk, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said yesterday.
The police and army have been deployed to ensure compliance, and the measures are effective through July 5, he added.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India and has since spread globally, was a dominant strain in Kudus and Bengkalan towns in Java, which have became virus hot spots along with Jakarta.
The rate of hospitalization in Jakarta has exceeded 90 percent, even if the government could add more as there are a total of 34,000 beds with 17,300 allocated for virus patients, Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a news conference.
The capital is in need of 1,179 more healthcare workers, while neighboring West Java Province needs 400, Fadhillah said.
“The government isn’t choosing between health and the economy,” Sadikin said. “The president has ordered for the health issue to be resolved first, because the economy won’t move if the health issue isn’t resolved.”
The recent surge in infections had been predicted by the government, which last month forecast that cases could rise by 40 to 60 percent in the four to five weeks after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
A persistent increase in cases could threaten recovery in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which last year saw its first contraction in two decades.
Ethiopia’s Afar region on Friday called on civilians to take up arms against rebels from neighboring Tigray, signaling a potential escalation in fighting that has already displaced tens of thousands this week. “Every Afar should protect their land with any means available, whether by guns, sticks or stones,” regional President Awol Arba said in an interview aired by regional state media. “No weapons can make us kneel down. We will win this war with our strong determination.” Tigrayan rebels launched operations in Afar last weekend, saying they were targeting pro-government troops massing along the two regions’ shared border. A government official said on
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on Tuesday last week in a mass drive that has been hailed by the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Bhutan grabbed headlines in April when its government said it had inoculated about the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose
‘LIBERATE HONG KONG’: The prosecution argued that the slogan was in the tradition of rallying cries for secession dating back to the Qin and Qing dynasties Three Hong Kong judges are to rule tomorrow whether the protest slogan: “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times” is a call for secession when they deliver a verdict on charges against a man arrested at a demonstration last year. The landmark ruling could have long-term implications for how a Beijing-imposed National Security Law against secession, terrorism, subversion and collusion with foreign forces reshapes the territory’s common law traditions, some legal scholars say. Democracy advocates say that a ruling to outlaw the slogan would tighten limits on free speech. The slogan was last year chanted during democracy protests, posted online, scrawled on walls,
For almost 500 years, the arch that connects the largest Gothic cathedral in the world with its Renaissance sacristy has offered visitors a sumptuous, if little glimpsed — and even less studied — vision of religious bounty. The 68 beautifully carved plates of food that adorn the archway in Seville’s cathedral offer rather more than bread and wine. There are pigs’ trotters and wild strawberries, aubergines, clams and oysters. There are peaches, radishes, a skinned hare with a knife by its side, a squirrel served on a bed of hazelnuts and a plate of lemons across which a small snake slithers. There