Indonesia is finally emerging from its summer of death. But because the country looks to reopen, 3 of the issues that created its pandemic crisis still loom large.

5 mins read
While Jakarta ends the summer deaths, The main reasons of covid spread is still a biger issue.

At dawn, they might call out the names of the dead.
Hendro Utomo, 53, would listen because the loudspeakers from the local mosque announced who had died the day before. “Five, eight dead a day , just in my neighborhood,” said Utomo, who runs a bank . “Every jiffy we hear the ambulances, the sirens, and someone is dying.”
In July, the Indonesian capital of Jakarta became the Southeast Asian epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals were running out of beds or oxygen to stay patients alive. Jakarta’s dead were piling up in their own homes because there weren’t enough medical facilities to require them.
Emergency doctors like Debryna Dewi, 29, had to regularly decide which patients would receive a hospital and which were sent home.
“That’s not something that’s ever alleged to happen,” she said. “This isn’t a neighborhood hit by an earthquake or a tsunami, it is a hospital within the capital.”
By mid-August, nearly half the city’s population of 10 million had contracted the virus and a minimum of 5,200 people had died of COVID-19. As case counts started flattening out, the govt announced on August 23 it might relax restrictions within the Jakarta region, reopening restaurants, malls, and places of worship.
As of mid-September, Indonesia’s infections and casualties are declining, data collected by the country’s Ministry of Health shows. The Minister of Health is emphasizing an ambitious push to vaccinate Indonesians and move the state toward being an epidemic state which will accept the coronavirus. The tourist island of Bali could hospitable foreigners by October, said a senior minister responsible of the pandemic response.
But whilst Indonesia sets its sights on these goals, it’s still suffering from an equivalent core issues that made its capital so vulnerable during its summer crisis. Through conversations with local doctors, epidemiologists, and data analysts, we identified three of those factors: poor data reporting, gaps in medical access, and a scarcity of access to vaccines.
While Jakarta now touts a high vaccination rate, all three issues still be pronounced within the remainder of Indonesia.
Around 23% of the country’s population has been vaccinated, but the majority of these vaccinations have happened within the capital city, with vaccination numbers hovering within the single digits in many of its more rural provinces. Data analysts especially are urging caution, concerned that Indonesia isn’t collecting or publishing enough pandemic data to understand if it’s able to reopen.
The archipelago of Indonesia consists of 5 main islands and 6,000 smaller inhabited ones. Its 270 million people are split across 34 provinces. Each province’s coronavirus response is overseen by the local governor, almost like the US.
Local governments are responsible of sending pandemic data to central authorities to tally Indonesia’s daily case and death totals. Therein lies one among the country’s core issues: Not all COVID-19 deaths reported in local regions are added to the national count, said Elina Ciptadi, cofounder of Kawal Covid, a volunteer organization of analysts that curates coronavirus data in Indonesia.
“The data is aggregated from the town level, to the district level, to the provincial level, then on the national level,” said Ciptadi. “We do not know where the deaths are disappearing.”
It’s no secret. Indonesia said it doesn’t count COVID-19 deaths if the victim had other pre-existing conditions or if they weren’t tested. These guidelines run contrary to the planet Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines.
Kawal Covid estimates that Indonesia’s actual price is up to three-and-a-half times above government figures. Lapor Covid, an independent watchdog organization, says the price was up to 6 times worse at one point, consistent with its observations of villages across the country. In Jakarta alone, official data shows around 5,200 people died from COVID-19 between June 15 and Assumption , but an equivalent reports show there have been 12,200 funerals where bodies were buried with COVID-19 procedures.

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