07/01/2021, 14.17
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COVID-19: Bali and Java under partial lockdown

by Mathias Hariyadi

The new measure will remain in force until at least 20 July. Yesterday Indonesia reported almost 22,000 new cases. Beds in intensive care units and oxygen are in short supply. The government wants to boost the vaccination rollout.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia will impose a partial lockdown on the islands of Bali and Java to counter the rise in COVID-19 cases. President Joko Widodo announced his decision today, which he made on the advice of national health experts.

The measure, which will remain in force from 3 to 20 July, includes, among other things, the shutdown of schools and all non-essential businesses. Restaurants can remain open until 5 pm but with a maximum capacity of 25 per cent.

Yesterday, the country reported 21,807 new cases and 463 deaths. The Ministry of Health has expressed concern about the alarming high rate of intensive care bed occupancy. Many hospitals are at 90 per cent of capacity or more.

Oxygen supplies for patients are declining whilst prices are rising; an oxygen tank that normally costs US$ 50 is now going for US$ 140 dollars. This situation is very frustrating for those who have to care for family members at home.

Wahyuni, a young woman living in Semarang, told AsiaNews that she lost four relatives to coronavirus.

Daryati, 82, and her two sons have been sick, locked at home for a month. "As a result of COVID-19, these are the worst days, between life and death," said the elderly woman.

In the past week, four seminarians have also died from the coronavirus, while at least 10 priests are being treated in different hospitals in the capital.

To counter the rise in infections and the spread of the Delta variant to Java and Bali, the Indonesian government is planning to speed up the vaccination campaign.

Every person over the age of 18 can now receive the vaccine. So far however, only 13.3 million people have received two doses out of a target group of 181.5 million.

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