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Indonesia’s Covid deaths hit 100K as Delta spreads

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The graves of Covid-19 victims at a cemetery in Jakarta. AFP

Indonesia’s Covid deaths hit 100K as Delta spreads

Indonesia's coronavirus death toll topped 100,000 on August 4 as the country struggles to control the spread of the Delta variant.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has now detected Delta in dozens of regions since it was first found in the archipelago in June.

Scores of Indonesians are dying at home, unable to access hospital care or medical oxygen supplies as health care facilities are stretched to the limit.

More than 3.5 million infections have been recorded to date though official figures are widely believed to be an underestimate.

“The deaths happened … mainly because of lateness to recognise the severity of the symptoms and to refer patients,” said Covid-19 taskforce spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi.

Indonesia reported 1,747 new deaths on August 4, bringing its total to 100,636.

LaporCovid, an NGO that has developed a citizen reporting platform for Covid-19 data, said more than 2,600 patients died at home between the beginning of June and July 24.

Indonesia announced stricter restrictions on July 3 and has extended the policy twice in areas where infection numbers and hospital bed occupancy rates are high.

Offices, shopping malls and schools are closed while dining in at restaurants is limited to 20 minutes.

The curbs have started to take a toll on the country’s economy which entered a recession at the end of last year for the first time since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

“Financially, it really affects me. I have very few customers because people don’t go to the office,” Dicky, a ride-hailing driver who like many Indonesians goes by just one name, told AFP.

The country aims to vaccinate 208 million of its 270 million citizens but the vaccination rate remains far below the government’s one-million-a-day target.

Only about eight per cent of the population have been fully inoculated.

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