Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Oxygen aid flows in as Indonesia fights for breath by Fardah


 Jakarta, July 20, 2021 (Antara) - For healthy people, oxygen is everywhere, free and taken for granted. But, for COVID-19 patients in Indonesia, medical oxygen has become a precious and life-saving necessity amid a devastating new wave of infections triggered by the highly infectious Delta variant.

In the latest infection spike, pneumonia and low blood oxygen levels, or hypoxaemia, have been common in patients.

COVID-19 affects patients' respiratory system and causes shortness of breath as it disturbs the function of the lungs to allow the body to absorb oxygen from the air and expel carbon dioxide.

According to the task force for COVID-19 handling, Indonesia on July 20, 2021 added 38,325 confirmed cases, bringing the total tally so far to 2,959,058.

With 29,791 daily recoveries, the total number of people recovering from the infection touched 2,323,666. Meanwhile, 1,280 people succumbed to the virus in a single day, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic in Indonesia on March 2, 2020 to 76,200.

To curb the infection surge, the government imposed emergency movement restrictions on the islands of Java and Bali from July 3 to July 20, 2021. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continuing to remain high, the emergency restrictions have been extended further until July 25.

The spike in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has led to a fivefold increase in the country's daily oxygen requirement from 400 tons to two thousand tons.

"We have reported to the cabinet that the demand for oxygen has increased very rapidly from 400 tons per day. Now it has increased to almost two thousand tons per day," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin informed at an online press conference on July 16, 2021.

On July 5, 2021, Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, in his capacity as coordinator of the emergency restrictions, said that the availability of medical oxygen cylinders matters and must be addressed immediately.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Foreign aid starts arriving to help Indonesia fight COVID surge

Jakarta, July 18, 2021 -  With Indonesia recording an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, several countries have stepped in to provide vaccines and medical equipment to help the nation fight the latest spike in infections.

Fifteen days since the imposition of public movement restrictions, Indonesia's COVID-19 cases have continued to explode, with the country adding 51,952 daily cases on Saturday, bringing the tally to 2,832,755.

With 1,092 people succumbing to the virus in a single day, the death toll climbed to 72,489. Meanwhile, the number of daily recoveries reached 27,903, taking the total tally so far to 2,232,394.

Jakarta contributed the highest number of daily cases at 10,168 on Saturday. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, with a recent survey showing that 91.9 percent of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta have gone undetected.

The survey was conducted by the pandemic team from University of Indonesia's Faculty of Public Health (FKM UI), in collaboration with the Jakarta Provincial Health Office, Eijkman Institute, and CDC Indonesia.

According to the serological survey conducted from March 15 - March 31, 2021, the detection rate of COVID-19 cases is very low, as only 8.1 percent cases have been detected, while 91.9 percent have remained undetected.

The number of cases in the population could be much higher since only 8.1 percent cases have been reported or detected in the system, epidemiologist Pandu Riono from FKM UI said on July 14, 2021.

To deal with the current COVID-19 spike, the Indonesian government has imposed emergency people's movement restrictions (PPKM) in Bali and Java Islands from July 3 to July 20, 2021, with the support of the police and military personnel.

The emergency restrictions are being coordinated by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut, Binsar Pandjaitan, who has assured that the government has calculated the worst-case scenario regarding the COVID-19 surge.

Monday, July 5, 2021

COVID-19 BATTERED INDONESIA GRATEFUL FOR VACCINE DONATIONS by Fardah


Jakarta, 6/7/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia has been struggling in the fight against the second COVID-19 wave triggered by the new Delta variant that has increasingly overwhelmed the country's healthcare facilities over the last several weeks.

Despite all-out efforts made by authorities and healthcare workers, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases has continued to spike significantly. The number of new cases hit another record, at 29,745, on July 5, 2021, taking the tally to 2,313,829 cases.

The COVID-19 Response Task Force reported that with 14,416 people recovering from COVID-19 in a single day, the total count of recoveries had reached 1,942,690 since the first infections were reported in the country in March 2020.

Some 558 people succumbed to the infection in a single day, bringing the death toll to 61,140.

The number of active cases, or patients receiving treatment and conducting self-isolation, reached 309,999, while the number of suspected cases stood at 79,808.

Jakarta recorded the highest single-day surge in cases at 10,903, followed by 6,971 in West Java, 3,447 in Central Java, 1,543 in East Java, 1,465 in Yogyakarta, and 541 in Banten.

To curb the spike, the government has imposed emergency measures to restrict the people's activities in Java and Bali on July 3-20, 2021.

The national vaccination program has also been expedited by administering over one million vaccine jabs in a day to meet the nation's target of inoculating 181.5 million people in order to develop herd immunity by the end of this year.

As of July 5, 2021, over 14 million Indonesians had been fully vaccinated, while some 32.3 million others had received the first shots.

As of June 20, 2021, Indonesia had received 104,728,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, comprising 94.5 million doses of CoronaVac bought from China's Sinovac, 8.228 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received from the WHO-coordinated COVAX Facility, and two million doses of China's Sinopharm vaccine bought by the private sector to support the government's vaccination campaign.

While the nation is racing against time to save lives from the pandemic, vaccines donations by foreign countries which have, so far, included Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and Australia, are highly appreciated.

On July 1, 2021, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin thanked the governments of Japan, Australia, and the United States for providing vaccines and monetary assistance to support Indonesia's fight against COVID-19.

Indonesia received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

FACED WITH RISING INFECTIONS, INDONESIA DOUBLES DOWN ON RESTRICTIONS by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 4/7/2021 (ANTARA) - With the second COVID-19 wave leading to a drastic spike in infections in several regions, particularly Jakarta and other cities on Java Island, the Indonesian government has imposed restrictions on public activities starting Saturday.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged the public to stay calm during the implementation of the emergency restrictions.

He has also called on the public to remain disciplined in adhering to the health protocols and support the work of government officials and volunteers handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I call on the public to remain calm and alert to comply with existing regulations," Widodo said.

With sound cooperation from every individual and the will of Allah SWT, Indonesia can suppress the spread of COVID-19 and restore people's lives quickly, the President added.

The emergency people's activity restrictions (PPKM), which will be in place till July 20, 2021, are aimed at reducing daily coronavirus infections to below 10 thousand. They entail a work-from-home guidance for all non-essential sectors and the continued closure of schools and universities.

During the emergency restrictions, public amenities like beaches, parks, tourist attractions, and places of worship will remain closed, while restaurants will be allowed to only offer take-away or delivery services.

On Saturday, the first day of the imposition of the emergency restrictions, the main roads of Jakarta, such as Sudirman and Thamrin avenues, bore a deserted look as police installed barricades at several toll roads and intersection points on main roads to limit the mobility of residents. Only individuals working in the essential sector are allowed to venture outside the home.

Practically quarantining the capital city by significantly limiting those wanting to go out or enter the capital city, Jakarta Police, supported by military personnel, implemented isolation measures at 63 entry and exit points for Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jadetabek).

Overall, the first day of imposition of emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM) in Java and Bali went smoothly, officials said.

Indonesia saw a record increase in daily COVID-19 cases on July 3, 2021, with 27,913 new infections and 493 deaths reported across the country. The number of single-day recoveries stood at 13,282, while active cases were pegged at 281,677.

Since the government announced the first COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020, the tally of infections has so far reached 2,256,851, while the death toll has touched 60,027.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

INDONESIA LOOKS TO INDIA FOR LESSONS AMID SECOND COVID WAVE by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 1/7/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia has turned to India for lessons in battling COVID-19 in the wake of a second wave of infections triggered by the new Delta variant.

The countrys COVID-19 cases have hit a record, with daily cases reaching 21,807 on June 30, 2021, bringing the total tally to 2,178,272. Meanwhile, the death toll has climbed to 58,491.

The Indonesian government announced the nations first coronavirus cases on March 2, 2020.

In comparison, the Indian Health Ministry on May 6, 2021 reported 3,980 daily deaths, which took the national total to 230,168, and 412,262 daily cases, which brought India's caseload since the start of the pandemic to 21.1 million.

According to Indonesia, India has been quite successful in curbing the recent spike in cases, with daily infections falling to 50 thousand of late.

"There is a lesson that we can learn from there," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on June 30, 2021.

Over these past few weeks, Jakarta and many other provinces across Indonesia have witnessed an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 cases amid the government's ongoing vaccination drives.

In flattening the COVID-19 curve, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, for instance, has urged local residents to abstain from frequent travel.

Meanwhile, in response to the alarming resurgence of new COVID-19 cases in the country, President Jokowi himself has earlier highlighted the necessity for state institutions and all levels of government to be on the same wavelength.

Such a fast and appropriate response necessitates state institutions, the central government, and regional governments to be on the same frequency, he  emphasized.

Indonesia moves to protect children as COVID-19 cases spike by Fardah


 Jakarta , June 30, 2021(ANTARA) - With Indonesia’s second COVID-19 wave affecting a significant number of children, the government has been quick to decide on opening vaccinations for the 12-17 age group.

According to the COVID-19 task force, the number of coronavirus cases involving children reached 12.6 percent, accounting for more than 250 thousand of the total 2,033,421 cases, as of June 23, 2021.

Data from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection shows that as of June 2, 2021, children from the 6-17 age group constituted 5.6 percent of the total COVID-19 cases, while 2.3 percent of children up to the age of five years were affected by COVID-19.

One out of every eight Indonesians exposed to COVID-19 is under 18 years old, and children fall in the category that is at risk of succumbing to the coronavirus, the data shows. One of every 83 Indonesians dying of COVID-19 is a child, the government data further shows.

Children can contract and die of COVID-19 based on the presence of comorbidities, such as obesity, tuberculosis, and hypertension, according to chief of the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI), Aman Pulungan.

This should draw attention and become a reason to remain vigilant and for asymptomatic people to conduct self-isolation, he added.

The IDAI has recommended that 10 percent of the children be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Besides, all activities of children in the 0-18 age group should be conducted online, it has advised.

It has further recommended preventing children from venturing out of their homes, teaching them to remain disciplined in following the health protocols, immunizing them, and increasing breastfeeding to protect them from COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 cases among children has become a cause for major concern for the government, which is preparing to open vaccinations for children in the 12-17 age group.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has earlier revealed that his ministry is considering the use of the Sinovac and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children below 18 years of age.

Sinovac has been approved for the 3-17 age group, while Pfizer has obtained approval for the 12-17 age group.

Indonesia was expecting to receive Pfizer vaccines in June this year, and according to some reports, the Pfizer shipment from America has been delayed until August this year.