Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo is promising a Covid-19 vaccine for mid-2021, according to the Jakarta Post.
Jokowi claimed that clinical trials could begin early in the year.
Named after the colours of Indonesia’s flag, the Merah Putih (red and white) vaccine is being specifically designed to take on the particular strain of the virus that has spread in Indonesia.
According to the Jakarta Post, Indonesia has also secured 290 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, to be supplied next year by suppliers including China’s pharmaceutical Sinovac Biotech.
That company has been closely cooperating with Indonesia to develop a vaccine candidate. Together, they continued clinical trials of the vaccine candidate in August, with tests carried out on 1,620 volunteers in Bandung, West Java.
Indonesia is still being hit particularly hard by Covid-19.
The huge country recorded its highest daily number of Covid-19 cases on Aug 27 with 2,719 cases, bringing the country’s total count to 162,884.
The same day, 120 patients died, raising total fatalities to 7,064.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is seeing a return of infections after a month with no new cases detected. The government has closed all schools, in a decision welcomed by parents.
Most of the latest patients are from the Yangon area. The country now has had 586 cases and six related deaths.
Meanwhile, Cambodia will allow public schools in four cities to re-open on Sept 7.
That country had not detected any new cases of Covid-19 for over two weeks. Phnom Penh has so far confirmed 273 cases, with 264 recoveries.
Elsewhere, in the past 24 hours, the Philippines has had 3,249 new cases and 97 related deaths.
Manila reports that the country’s total number of Covid-19 patients now stands at 205,518, the highest in Southeast Asia.