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Indonesia’s COVID-19 Cases Top 1 Million

An Indonesian health care worker injects Sinovac's vaccine to a man dressed in Indonesia's traditional human puppet costume known as Wayang, as Indonesia drives mass vaccination for COVID-19, in Central Java province, Indonesia. (Antara Foto)

Indonesia surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, when the Indonesian Health Ministry reported 13,094 new infections. Meanwhile, deaths are nearing 29,000 in the fourth most populous country in the world.

These numbers come at a time when the country is nearing capacity in intensive care units. Ministry data shows that hospital capacity nationwide is currently at 70%, although some areas have been hit harder. In parts of Indonesia’s most densely populated island of Java, as is the case of West Java, East Java and Yogyakarta, occupancy rates are 95%.

“This is time for us to mourn as many of our brothers and sisters who died, including more than 600 health care workers, while dealing with (the) pandemic,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a Tuesday televised address.

Two weeks ago, President Joko Widodo announced a nationwide campaign to vaccinate at least two-thirds of Indonesia’s 270 million people. Widodo himself has already received the first shot of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac.

In a country of more than 17,000 islands and limited infrastructure, Indonesian officials are working around the clock to deliver the first doses in a timely manner.

With cases going up, many local governments, especially in the islands of Bali and Java, have imposed new quarantine measures, while the Wododo administration has urged Indonesians to observe health guidelines and collaborate.

“This 1 million figure gives an indication that all Indonesian people must work together with the government to fight against the pandemic even harder,” the health minister said.