For the first time, Indonesia recorded over 54,000 new coronavirus cases a day, exceeding previous daily infections in India, whose devastating outbreak is winding down. Indonesia is establishing itself as Asia’s new virus madness center.

Officials are concerned that the more highly transmissible Delta variant is spreading from the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali, where outbreaks forced the closure of places of worship, shops, parks, and restaurants.

“I predict the outbreak will increase continuously in July as we are not able yet to prevent the spread of infections,” said epidemiology specialist Pandu Riono of the University of Indonesia.

“Emergency social restrictions are still inadequate. They should be twice as stringent since we are facing the Delta variant, which is two times more contagious.”

Yesterday, the Health Ministry announced 54,517 new cases and 991 deaths, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to over 2.6 million and confirmed fatalities to over 69,000 since the epidemic began.

Daily cases were over 8000 approximately a month ago, reports 9News.

Despite having considerably less testing by population, daily incidences reported in Indonesia are currently greater than in India.

Following lockdowns in the worst-affected districts and a stepped-up vaccination push, India recorded fewer than 39,000 cases yesterday, significantly below the high of  400,000 daily cases in May.

The Indonesian government has recognized the spread of the Delta variety beyond Java and Bali, according to Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

On Tuesday, he informed parliamentarians that more than 90,000 of the 120,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are occupied across the country.

“Nationally, we still have some room. But the bed occupancy rate is very high in some provinces where the explosion of the Delta variant is concentrated” Mr. Sadikin explained.

With the recent spike in deaths, several locals in the Jakarta area have begun assisting overworked gravediggers.

“As the diggers are too tired and do not have enough resources to dig, the residents in my neighbourhood decided to help,” said Jaya Abidin, who lives in Bogor, on the outskirts of the city, reports 9News.

“Because if we do not do this, we will have to wait in turn a long time for a burial in the middle of the night.”

The government is having difficulty obtaining enough vaccinations to fulfill its goal of immunizing more than 181 million of the country’s 270 million inhabitants by March 2022.

Only 15.6 million individuals have received complete vaccinations. So far, 137.6 million doses of Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines have been obtained for the world’s fourth-most populated country, enough to protect 69 million individuals.

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