Coronavirus infections in Indonesia jumped to a new single-day high of over 38,000 on Thursday, as the more infectious Delta variant drives a surge in the largely unvaccinated island nation.
The daily death toll was also an alarming 852, the second-highest figure on record, further fueling fears that the ongoing virus wave could overwhelm Indonesia’s healthcare system.
A total of 38,391 new cases pushed the nationwide count above 2.41 million, including 63,760 deaths, according to data released by the country’s COVID-19 task force.
The number of patients under treatment and people in self-isolation currently stands at 359,000, while recoveries swelled by 21,185 to nearly 2 million.
Indonesia has been making frantic efforts to curb the virus’ spread, with the government having imposed stricter restrictions in the most populated Java and Bali islands from July 3 to July 20.
However, the slow pace of the vaccination drive has left the country of some 270 million people vulnerable to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The Delta strain was first identified earlier this year in India, where it sparked one of the worst crises seen throughout the pandemic, as hundreds of thousands of infections and thousands of deaths were seen in the South Asian country for days at end.
In Indonesia, just about 6% of the population has been fully vaccinated so far, with the number a little over 14.35 million (14,357,113) as of Tuesday.
More than 33.48 million people (33,488,253) have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to official data.
Indonesia’s vaccination efforts will receive a boost in the coming days as Australia has pledged to send 2.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab, along with other medical supplies.
Canberra announced on Wednesday that it will also send some 40,000 rapid-antigen test kits, 1,000 ventilators, 700 oxygen concentrators, 170 oxygen cylinders, and other medical supplies to Jakarta.
Teuku Faizasyah, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told Anadolu Agency that “the delivery time is still being processed.”
* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta.