As COVID cases quadruple, Indonesia copes with oxygen shortage | Coronavirus pandemic news
The government has asked oxygen producers to send all supplies to hospitals because dozens of people have died due to shortages.
Indonesia is battling one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks as new cases more than quadrupled in a month, resulting in severe hypoxia in multiple areas.
Over the weekend, a hospital in Yogyakarta ran out of supplies and at least 33 people died. On Monday, the government asked oxygen producers to send all supplies to hospitals and clinics.
The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has caused a significant increase in the number of infections across the country.
After the Indonesian government last week ordered the implementation of new virus containment measures in the hard-hit capital Jakarta, Java Island and the holiday island Bali, Indonesia reported 29,745 new infections and 558 deaths on Monday, both daily records.
Mosques, parks, shopping centers and restaurants are closed in hotspots, and non-essential employees are ordered to work from home.
Jakarta public affairs analyst Bambang Harimurti told Al Jazeera that the local situation is deteriorating.
“Looking around, many hospitals are either closed due to overcrowding, so that they no longer accept more patients, but instead ask people to donate oxygen. The government asks people not to buy oxygen because hospitals need them,” he said.
“In fact, the authorities said that if people line up to buy oxygen and essential medicines, the police may have to raided many places before Thursday. [continues]. Now the price of medicine is ridiculously high. “
The number of cases has quadrupled
In less than a month, the number of daily cases in the world’s fourth most populous country has more than quadrupled, reaching 2.3 million cases and 61,140 deaths.
However, it is generally believed that this number is seriously underestimated due to the low detection rate and weak tracking measures.
Indonesia’s overwhelmed healthcare system has been crumbling on the brink of collapse, as crowded hospitals rejected patients, forcing desperate families to find oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.
Since May, the number of daily burials of new coronary pneumonia in Jakarta has increased tenfold, and more and more patients have died in isolation at home.
Independent virus data organization LaporCOVID stated that at least 269 people in 10 provinces died during self-isolation. The Jakarta health agency stated that 45 people died at home on Friday alone.
There are no official national statistics on the number of COVID deaths at home.