Indonesia’s daily Covid infections higher than India, Brazil
July 19 2021 01:02 AM
Corona Covid Coronavirus Covid structure
Corona Covid Coronavirus Covid structure

Guardian News and Media/ Jakarta

Indonesia has reported more daily Covid-19 infections than India and Brazil as the Delta strain sweeps across southeast Asia, placing intense pressure on health systems.
Most countries in the region are experiencing their worst outbreaks since the pandemic began, fuelled by the emergence of more aggressive variants and a lack of vaccines.
In Malaysia, shipping containers have been sent to hospitals because their morgues are so overwhelmed.
In Thailand, field hospitals are being built at the capital’s two airports.
In Myanmar, social media has been inundated with desperate pleas for oxygen.
In Indonesia, the worst hit, volunteer undertakers visit homes, collecting the bodies of people who were unable to access treatment.
On Saturday, Indonesia reported 51,952 cases and 1,092 deaths, higher than India and Brazil for a third day running.
More than 72,400 people have died, according to official records.
Only the UK – which has a far higher rate of testing – recorded more new infections on Saturday, 54,674. Health experts believe Indonesia’s figures are a severe underestimate.“The centre (of the pandemic) in Asia is already in Indonesia right now, but if we have more testing capacity we are already the epicentre of the world,” said Dr Dicky Budiman, an Indonesian epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University.
“We miss many cases and we don’t identify maybe 80% of these cases in the community … In Indonesia the testing is passive, it’s not active. The one who comes to the healthcare facility is the one who gets tested if they show symptoms, or if they also identity as the contact,” he said.
Indonesia has one of the world’s weakest testing systems, performing 55.89 tests for every 1,000 people since the start of the pandemic, according to Our World in Data. This is a lower testing rate than in India, with 318.86 swabs per 1,000 people.
The UK, which has one of the highest rates, has conducted 3,311.03 tests per 1,000 people.
While Europe is hoping mass inoculation campaigns will help mitigate the worst of the new, more aggressive variants, south-east Asia’s vaccination rates remain extremely low.
In Myanmar, less than 4% of the population has received one vaccine dose. The country’s vaccination campaign has collapsed, as has the wider health system, following the military coup in February.



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