(INDONESIA) #Coronavirus Report: Red Cross says country’s health is in ‘catastrophic’ situation as #COVID19 cases are surging with daily records #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – July.01: Indonesia’s #COVID19 surge is on the edge of a “catastrophe” as the more infectious Delta variant dominates transmission and chokes hospitals in South-East Asia’s worst epidemic, the Red Cross says.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Red Cross says Indonesia close to ‘catastrophe’ as #COVID19 Delta variant causes case surge and oxygen shortage and health dept has reported record daily infections of more than 20,000 in recent days, in a new wave of infections fuelled by the emergence of highly transmissible virus variants and increased mobility after the Muslim fasting month.

Two patients rest on hospital beds while conected to oxygen tanks, while another person sits behind them
The Delta variant is driving daily infection rates of more than 20,000 cases recently.(Reuters: Willy Kurniawan)

“Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe,” said Jan Gelfand, head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

As cases surge, oxygen prices in Indonesia’s capital more than doubled, and some suppliers reported shortages on Tuesday.

With hospitals filling up in Jakarta and patients being turned away, some people sought to secure oxygen for infected family members at home.

The price for a tank of oxygen had jumped to $US140 ($185)  from the usual $66, suppliers said.

“I’m queuing here now to refill oxygen for my wife and son who are now positive with COVID-19,” said Taufik Hidayat.

“I went around and it all was sold out.”

Sellers in others areas of Jakarta told Reuters their stocks had also dried up.

Two men wearing face masks and orange work gloves use gaslines to refill large thin cylinders with oxygen.
Officials say shortages are due to distribution problems that will soon be sorted.(Reuters: Antara Foto/Syifa Yulinnas)

But Sulung Mulia Putra, an official at Jakarta’s health agency, said a shortage at hospitals was temporary and due to distribution issues that were being resolved.

“Distributors don’t have enough transport so hospitals will be helped by the police, parks agency and Red Cross to transport oxygen,” he said.

Almost all isolation beds in use in worst areas

Hospitals in several designated “red zone” areas have reported overcapacity, including in Jakarta, with its isolation beds 93 per cent occupied as of Sunday.Indonesian COVID patients die in self-isolationAs Indonesia’s hospital system struggles with a surge of new COVID-19 cases, many are being turned away from hospitals and are being forced to isolate at home. Some have even died at home.

“Hospitals are full because of the case surge caused by mobility and loosening health protocol adherence, worsened also by the Delta variant,” said senior health ministry official Siti Nadia Tarmizi, when asked about the IFRC’s assessment.

The Delta variant was first identified in India and has been blamed for big spikes in infections in many countries.

Indonesia is banking on mass vaccinations as a means of tackling the virus, but only 13.3 million of the 181.5 million targeted for inoculation have received the required two doses since January.

Indonesia’s Health Minister is leading a push for stricter controls as infections surge to unprecedented levels, sources familiar with government discussions have told Reuters.

Citing unnamed sources, The Straits Times newspaper on Tuesday reported the government will tighten restrictions starting on Wednesday, prohibiting restaurant dining and requiring negative tests for domestic air travel.

Asked for confirmation of that, the health ministry said: “Wait for the official announcement.”

ABC/Reuters/The Straits Times/Reuters/

#AceHealthDesk report ………….Published:

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