01/07/2021, 11.55
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Covid-19 health emergency: Jakarta prepares for mass vaccination

by Mathias Hariyadi

Over 70% of intensive care beds occupied nationwide. There is a lack of doctors specialized in treating the disease. Partial lockdown in Java and Bali. The immunization campaign with the Chinese Sinovac will start on 13 January. The first to receive the dose will be President Widodo.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In Indonesia, the mass vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus is about to begin, thanks also to the arrival of the first doses produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinovac distributed in several countries of Southeast Asia. The first injections of CoronaVac are scheduled for January 13th and, as announced in recent weeks, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will be the first to have it administered as part of an awareness campaign.

Jakarta intends to vaccinate at least 181.5 million people, or about 67% of the entire population, to achieve the goal of herd immunity, Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin reports. In addition to the Chinese vaccine, local authorities have ordered 50 million doses from Pfizer / BioNTech (the first to receive full-scale clearance) and AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus emergency is worsening throughout the Indonesian archipelago, with more than 70% of the available intensive care beds already occupied and areas dedicated to Covid patients now saturated, as confirmed by the head of the local task force Wiku Adisasmito. A fact that goes well beyond the critical threshold and that threatens to bury the entire health system; the most critical areas are the capital Jakarta, Yogyakarta, East-Central-West Java, South Sulawesi, West Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi.

In addition to the lack of beds, there is also the shortage of doctors specialized in the treatment of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, many of whom have lost their lives during their daily struggle in hospital wards. Since the beginning of the health emergency 237 doctors have died, with a peak of infections recorded in the period between October and December.

According to the latest data, about 780 thousand cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded in Indonesia, of which 7445 in the last 24 hours. 6643 deaths and 645746 healings. Eddie is among the people waiting for a bed in hospital. He tells AsiaNews about the anxieties and fears related to the possible course of the disease. "I have been waiting for at least four days - he emphasizes - to be hospitalized", but failing to access care he decided to go to the emergency department.

Finally, today the Indonesian health authority has ordered a partial lockdown in Java and Bali, the two most populous islands of the archipelago. The directives that will be introduced include: a maximum of 25% of office workers, while smart-working is recommended for the others; distance learning is introduced in schools; essential services and activities will be allowed to operate, with stricter health controls and provisions; shopping centers must close at 7 pm; the take-away service in restaurants and bars is also limited to 25%; more checks also in road construction sites and in the main infrastructures, which may continue; reduced capacity in places of worship to 50%.

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