Indonesia passes 1 million COVID-19 cases as vaccinations roll out

Indonesia passes 1 million COVID-19 cases as vaccinations roll out

A nurse serves another medical worker during a vaccination at a hospital in Jakarta
A nurse serves another medical worker during a COVID-19 vaccination at a hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan 21, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

JAKARTA: Indonesia surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases on Tuesday (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 country reported 13,094 new cases on Tuesday, taking the total tally to 1,012,350, the country's COVID-19 taskforce said.

There were also 336 new deaths, taking the total to 28,468.

Indonesia's 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 programme and tightened movement restrictions earlier this month as hospitals came under mounting strain.

READ: COVID-19 – Hurdles ahead for Indonesia as it aims to vaccinate 180 million people in 15 months

Indonesia has been criticised 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.

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 per cent of people who had caught the virus had fully recovered.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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