Indonesia imports oxygen as hospitals hit by Covid-19

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Indonesia is getting emergency oxygen supplies for virus infected patients from neighboring Singapore, calling for help from other countries including China, the archipelago ravaged by its deadliest Covid-19 wave , the government announced on Tuesday.

About 10,000 concentrators – devices that generate oxygen – were due to be shipped from the city-state, some arriving by a Hercules cargo plane earlier on Tuesday, officials said.

“We have contacted Singapore, China and other sources” for assistance, said Senior Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

“We will also be ordering (oxygen) from other countries if we still believe there are insufficient supplies.”

Pandjaitan on Monday ordered all of the country’s oxygen supplies to be sent to hospitals overflowing with coronavirus patients, warning Indonesia could face a “worst case scenario” where infections skyrocket to 50,000 a day , a seizure caused by the highly infectious variant of the Delta.

The country reported 29,745 new infections and 558 deaths on Monday, two daily records, after the government last week ordered new virus brakes in the hard-hit capital Jakarta, across Java and on holiday island Bali.

Indonesia’s overwhelmed health system is shaken as crowded hospitals turn away patients, forcing desperate families to seek oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.

More than a dozen hospitals in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, are now full and no longer taking patients, authorities said.

“The health care system is on the verge of collapse; hospitals are already overwhelmed, oxygen supplies are running out and health services in Java and Bali are woefully ill-equipped to cope with this increase in the number of seriously ill patients, ”said the NGO Save the Children . A declaration.

The fourth most populous country in the world has seen its number of daily cases more than quadruple in less than a month and its tally stands at 2.3 million cases and 61,140 deaths.

This figure is widely considered to be a serious undercoverage due to poor testing and poor tracing measures.

Daily Covid-19 burials in the hard-hit capital Jakarta have increased tenfold since May, the government said.

Indonesia is working to step up plans to immunize more than 180 million of its nearly 270 million people by early next year.

But so far, only about five percent of the total population has received two hits.

bur-pb / ssy / i

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