Friday, July 30, 2021

Amid COVID spread, 'semi-lockdown' expanded to 21 provinces

 Jakarta , July 30, 2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia's most populated islands, Java and Bali, have been in "semi-lockdown" mode since July 3, 2021 due to the second COVID-19 wave, triggered by the Delta variant, which has pummeled the nation since mid-June 2021.

With COVID-19 spikes reported in areas outside Java and Bali, the government has decided to expand public mobility restrictions in several islands.

As a result, students are studying online from home. Employees are working from home as most offices have been temporarily closed, except for essential work. All malls, department stores, tourist sites and amusement centers, as well as places of worship have also been closed. Restaurants are only serving take-away orders. People have been advised to remain at home, except for emergency and limited purposes.

Domestic travelers boarding flights are being asked to present vaccine cards, showing they have at least taken one vaccine dose, and negative results of a RT-PCR test, taken at the most two days (48 hours) prior to departure.

Travelers using land or sea transportation, including trains or private cars, are also being asked to present vaccine cards, and negative results of RT-PCR tests, taken two days prior to departure, or negative results of rapid antigen tests, taken at the most one day (24 hours) prior to departure.

The country on July 30, 2021, reported 41,168 new cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,372,374. Meanwhile, with 1,759 additional fatalities, the death toll climbed to 92,311.

With a population of over 270 million, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous nation.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has admitted that the abrupt entry of the Delta variant in Indonesia has caught the nation by surprise. The Delta variant has a very high transmission rate and causes more severe symptoms than the original virus type, he said.

"Back in January, February, March, April, and May (2021), COVID-19 (transmission) had started to decline. If the coronavirus disease (spread) went down, the economy would definitely grow. It was actually apparent, yet unexpectedly, there was something called the Delta variant, a new type of variant of the disease," the President said on July 30, 2021.

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


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



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.