Indonesia has topped Brazil in reporting the highest number of daily deaths attributed to Covid-19, even as new cases start to ease in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
Indonesia is now considered the new epicentre of the pandemic in Asia, having overtaken India.
There were 1,093 fatalities in Indonesia in the 24 hours through midday Sunday, the government announced on Twitter.
The figure a day earlier was 1,092, while yesterday Brazil reported 868 deaths.
Indonesia said today that new infections were 44,721, the least in nearly a week, yet still the highest in Asia.
Many fear the situation may be worse than the numbers show, because not enough people are getting tested for the virus. A survey published on Saturday found that nearly half of the 10.6 million residents of Jakarta may have contracted Covid-19.
Experts say Indonesia is now reaping the costs of not implementing strict lockdowns nor investing enough in efficient contact-tracing systems.
At first, authorities did not realise how quickly the virus had been spreading in this latest wave, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin previously told CNN.
The current coronavirus wave in Indonesia has overwhelmed hospitals and depleted the country’s oxygen supply, even as the government adds beds and imports oxygen tanks.
As the Delta variant spreads through Indonesia, at least 650 people have died at home while self-isolating as they could not get admission to hospitals, according to crowdsourcing platform LaporCovid-19.
The crisis underscores how the pandemic is picking up pace around the world even as countries like the UK and the US ease virus restrictions.
A lack of access to vaccines means rising caseloads in places like Indonesia are being followed by a surge in deaths.
There has been more than 57 million vaccinations in Indonesia, enough to cover about 11% of its population, Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker shows.
The figure is 48% in the European Union and 53% in the US.
Indonesia – the world’s fourth-most populous country – has reported more than 2.8 million cases and 73,582 deaths overall.
That’s still dwarfed by the more than 540,000 dead in Brazil.
The US has the highest documented cases at 34 million and deaths at 609,000.
Indonesia’s government is considering whether to extend movement restrictions set to end on Tuesday.