Indonesia surpasses 100,000 deaths amid new virus wave | World information
By EDNA TARIGAN, Associated Press
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia exceeded 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, a dire milestone in a country grappling with its worst pandemic wave fueled by the Delta variant amid concerns that the actual number could be much higher.
It took Indonesia 14 months to cross the 50,000 death toll in late May, and a little over nine weeks to double it. The Department of Health recorded 1,747 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 100,636.
It is believed that these numbers are a minority.
As of early June, more than 2,800 people have died while self-isolating at home, according to LaporCOVID-19, an independent virus data group tracking home deaths. Some of these deaths are reflected in official numbers but others are not, he said.
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“They were rejected by the hospitals, so they went home and did self-isolation at home with limited access to medication, no oxygen and no medical supervision until they died,” said Ahmad Arif, one of the founders of LaporCOVID-19.
According to the WHO, hospitals need isolation rooms, oxygen supplies, medical and personal protective equipment, as well as mobile field hospitals and body bags.
Lia Partakusuma, general secretary of the Indonesian Hospital Association, said intensive care beds remain very scarce, especially outside of Java, where her association has received many reports of people dying at home.
“It’s very rare that patients come straight to the intensive care unit,” she said. “Many of them refuse to wait in the emergency room, they may feel uncomfortable and decide to return home.”
In Bogor, south of Jakarta, Pramirtha Sudirman’s infected brother and parents decided to isolate themselves at home because local hospitals were too full in early July.
They had consulted with a doctor beforehand and had planned to rush to the hospital if the symptoms worsened, said the 32-year-old.
“We knew the risk of self-isolation,” she said.
After it appeared that her father was on the way to recovery, her father suddenly deteriorated and died at home before they could take him to the emergency room. Her mother and brother have since recovered.
“We did our best. We don’t regret it because we also know the hospital was full too, ”she said.
Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, has recorded more than 3.5 million COVID-19 cases since March 2020. July was the deadliest month since the pandemic began, with more than 30,100 deaths – more than three times the 7,914 reported in June. The current per capita death rate is one of the worst in the region, second only to Myanmar.
In response, the government has stepped up its vaccination campaign, diverted most of the country’s industrial oxygen production for medical purposes, built more isolation centers and field hospitals, and increased drug supplies to hospitals.
In Jakarta, where patients were not turned away as in the past, the situation has eased somewhat, said Mahesa Paranadipa, co-head of the risk mitigation team at the Indonesian Medical Association.
Associate press journalist Niniek Karmini contributed to this report.
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