Indonesia on July 27 reported a record 2,069 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, as it faces its deadliest Covid-19 surge since the pandemic began.
The grim tally was nearly 600 deaths higher than the previous day and topped last week’s daily record of 1,566 deaths, the health ministry said.
New infections also shot up to just over 45,000, from about 28,000 on July 26.
The eye-watering data comes after the Southeast Asian nation this week loosened virus curbs by allowing small shops, streetside restaurants and some shopping malls to reopen after a three-week partial lockdown.
Health experts had warned that could trigger a fresh wave of cases, as the highly infectious Delta variant rips across the vast archipelago, which has overtaken India and Brazil to become the global pandemic epicentre.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation where tens of millions live hand to mouth, has avoided strict lockdowns seen in some other countries.
Nearly 19,000 foreign nationals have left Indonesia through Jakarta’s main international airport since early this month, an exodus led by Japanese and Chinese expatriates, with 2,962 and 2,219 departures respectively, the immigration department said on July 28.
Indonesia’s vaccination levels remain well below the government’s one-million-a-day target for July. Less than seven per cent of its 270 million people have been fully inoculated with two jabs.
The country has reported a total of more than 3.2 million cases and 86,835 virus deaths, but those official figures are widely believed to be a severe undercount, due to low testing and tracing rates.