Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases top 2 mil., records highest daily number

June 22 , 2021. 9 hours ago – 00:44 KYODO NEWS

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s total number of coronavirus cases topped 2 million on Monday with the highest daily record having been reached since the country’s first cases in March last year.

In its latest update, the Task Force for COVID-19 Mitigation announced that as of Monday afternoon, 2,004,445 novel coronavirus cases were confirmed in Indonesia with 54,956 fatalities.

The number of new confirmed cases reported on Monday totaled 14,536, beating the previous daily record high of 14,518 reached on Jan. 30.

Since the past week, infections have been surging with at least three cities in the country — Bangkalan on Madura Island in East Java Province, Kudus in Central Java Province and capital Jakarta — becoming the epicenters of transmission.

Many newly infected people in the epicenters were exposed to the Delta variant from India.

Most hospitals designated for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta and cities around Kudus are almost full, with bed occupancy rates having reached about 90 percent.

The daily cases in the country began to surge again in mid-May after slowly going down to between 2,000 and 4,000. The surge followed the exodus of people, mostly from Jakarta, who went to their hometowns to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday despite a government travel ban.

Earlier on the day, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto told a press conference that from Tuesday until July 5, social restrictions will be tightened by reducing public mobility by 75 percent or 100 percent in red zones.

Under the tightened social restrictions, Hartarto said that in red zones, only 25 percent of employees will be allowed to work in offices, schools are closed and restaurants can only operate at 25 percent capacity.

Shopping malls, restaurants, street vendors and shops, he added, can only operate until 8 p.m.

During the same occasion, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said his ministry will accelerate the vaccination drive to inject 1 million doses of vaccine per day.

“Last Thursday, we injected 716,000 doses of vaccine…and hopefully we can reach the target of 1 million per day by next month,” Sadikin said.

Since Indonesia started its vaccination drive in mid-January, a total of 12.3 million people have been fully inoculated, out of 187 million people eligible for vaccination.

Indonesia has so far received almost 105 million doses of vaccine with 94.5 million alone from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The remaining ones are from Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc. and China’s Sinopharm.

Cr. KYODO NEWS