Home News Indonesia set to pass 1 million coronavirus cases as vaccinations roll out

Indonesia set to pass 1 million coronavirus cases as vaccinations roll out

Indonesia is set to officially surpass one million coronavirus cases on Jan. 26, a grim milestone for the Southeast Asian nation that has struggled since last March to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

The world’s fourth-most-populous country had recorded 999,256 coronavirus infections as of Jan. 25, with the average daily increase running above 11,000 for more than a week, according to official data. Deaths from the respiratory disease have totaled 28,132.

Those numbers are some of the highest in Asia, but health experts believe the true spread is likely to be far worse.

The government started its vaccination program and tightened movement restrictions earlier this month as hospitals came under mounting strain.

Indonesia has been criticized for having among the lowest testing and contact-tracing rates globally, and for focusing on securing vaccines at the expense of trying to enforce health protocols.

Sabriyanti, a 42-year-old Jakarta resident, called for the government to impose tighter social distancing rules.

“The government should be stricter, because we still can see crowds and those who don’t wear masks,” she said.

A medical worker collects a swab sample from a woman to be tested for COVID-19 as the outbreak continues, at the Patriot Chandrabhaga stadium in Bekasi, Indonesia, Jan. 26. (Photo by Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)
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Muhaimin Zega, a 20-year-old college student, said the government should give “clear rules that people can understand”.

“We can’t put all blame on the people, it’s the government’s responsibility to control its people,” he said.

Reisa Broto Asmoro, the spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 task force, said 80 percent of people who had caught the virus had fully recovered.

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