Jakarta: Indonesia’s Covid death toll crossed the grim milestone, breaches 100,000-mark on Wednesday, as the country continues to suffer from the worst wave of the pandemic compounded by the spread of the Delta variant. Health ministry data showed that Indonesia recorded 1,747 deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing the cumulative count to 100,636.
Indonesia has now joined the list of countries including India and Brazil which have lost more than 100,000 people due to Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
According to news agency Associated Press, it took 14 months for Indonesia to cross the 50,000-mark at the end of May this year, and just more than two months to double it. However, experts have pointed out the real figures are greater than what the official data shows.
Indonesia has been grappling with a severe shortage of oxygen to treat critical patients. Hospitals across have been running out of beds because of which many of such patients are dying either by isolating at home or waiting to receive urgent care. The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said that hospitals require more isolation rooms, oxygen supplies, medical and personal equipment and also body bags and mobile field hospitals.
Since June, over 2,800 people have died during self-isolation at home, according to data presented by crowd sourcing platform LaporCovid-19, which keeps track of deaths at home. “They were rejected by the hospitals, so they went back home and did the self-isolation at home with limited access to medicine, no oxygen and no monitoring from doctors until they died,” Ahmad Arif, one of the founding members of LaporCovid-19, told the Associated Press.
And in July, when the highly infectious Delta variant emerged, more than 30,000 deaths were reported in the country, over triple than the 7,914 deaths seen in June. The government in July had implemented the strictest curbs on movement in Java island and Bali to curb the spread of Covid-19, and further introduced similar curbs across the country.
Even though the government is now speeding up its vaccination rollout and has diverted most of the industrial oxygen production for medical use and has come up with more isolation rooms and field hospitals, the situation still remains critical.
Just 8% of the total 270 million in Indonesia have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and the government is aiming to administer 2.5 million doses a day in August and in September, according to Bloomberg.
Recently, the country started receiving jabs from Pfizer and Moderna through the COVAX programme and other bilateral deals. Among those people who haven’t been inoculated, 80% said they were waiting for a slot, are looking out for available vaccines or haven’t been vaccinated due to other reasons, Bloomberg further reported.