World

Indonesia becomes new epicenter of COVID-19, reporting highest daily cases yet

On Thursday, Indonesian authorities reported close to 57,000 new cases, the highest daily total yet.

In Bekasi, Indonesia, thousands of people are sleeping in hallways, tents and cars, gasping for air as they wait for beds in overcrowded hospitals that may not have oxygen to give them. Others see hospitals as hopeless, even dangerous, and have decided to remain at home. Indonesia has surpassed both India and Brazil to become the country with the world’s highest count of new infections.

In Indonesia, cases and deaths have shot up in the past month as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through densely populated Java Island, as well as Bali. In some regions, the coronavirus has pushed the medical system past its limits, although hospitals are taking emergency steps to expand capacity.

Bekasi Regional Public Hospital, where some COVID patients have waited days for treatment, has erected large tents on its grounds, with beds for up to 150 people. Nearby in Jakarta, the capital, a long line of people waited for hours outside a small dispensary, hoping to fill their portable tanks with oxygen.

Among them was Nyimas Siti Nadia, 28, who had been searching for oxygen for her aunt’s family, all sick with COVID. “She is a doctor and she is afraid to go to a hospital because she knows the situation,” Nyimas said. “There are many instances where patients do not get beds or oxygen. If we go to the hospital, we have to bring our own oxygen.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS

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