The Indonesian Ministry of Health recorded 1,747 new deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 100,636.
The Southeast Asian country has struggled to cope with the highly contagious variant of the delta since its discovery in Indonesia in late June. According to Our World in Data, the total number of infections in Indonesia has now reached 3.53 million.
The country saw a huge increase in cases in early July, and more than 30,100 deaths. A high death toll has left much of the country frustrated with their government, blaming a slow rollout of the vaccine, while others blame conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccines.
“Living and dying are part of the cycle of life,” says Rommy Stefanus, 39, who lives in Jakarta with his family. “But I believe that [the deaths] may be reduced if our government is more responsive in dealing with this issue. “
Stefanus, who works in logistics, believes the Indonesian government has been ineffective in making early decisions such as separating areas where outbreaks have occurred could have slowed the spread of the Delta variant. Instead, he said, it created a climate of mistrust between the authorities and the local population.
“It’s frustrating because again the government is not strict about it [implementing the lockdown] Either, ”Stefanus said. “They close some roads, put police in place, but there are times when they just let people pass. At the end of the day, people are trying to outsmart the authorities. Stefanus also highlighted a concern about the plots surrounding the virus. He said that many Indonesians do not see it as a serious health problem and see it as a hoax.
It’s a sentiment shared by Arry Susanto, 50, a local filmmaker living in South Sumatra.
People who deny this pandemic situation are to blame, ”Susanto said. “Because of them, the death toll keeps increasing. “
Many healthcare professionals say hospitals are struggling to treat new patients as the healthcare system becomes increasingly overwhelmed. Hundreds of people are now dying in their own homes.
“It is very rare for patients to come directly to the ICU,” Lia Partakusuma, secretary general of the Indonesian Hospital Association, told The Associated Press.
“A lot of them refuse to wait in the ER, maybe they feel uncomfortable, so they decide to go home,” she said.
The crisis has prompted local volunteers to treat the sick at home, putting their own lives in danger. These paramedics rushed coronavirus victims from their homes to hospitals when their condition worsened.
Indonesia put in place a lockdown on July 1. Since the increased restrictions began last month, the country has seen areas of improvement, particularly in Java and Bali, where cases have declined slightly. But the government has decided to extend the lockdown for an additional week as a precautionary measure.
The government has started to scale up its immunization program to keep up with the rising numbers. It has also taken steps to increase the production of oxygen for medical use and set up field hospitals across the country, according to local reports.
But even as security measures are tightened, locals like Susanto believe the rising death toll has led to a collective sense of hopelessness.
“We are really sad and frustrated with all the news about the death toll,” he said. “In my neighborhood in Bandar Lampung, almost every morning we hear the obituary announced from our village mosque. “