Indonesia grappling with Covid-19 ‘worst-case scenario’: Minister

INDONESIA: Indonesia is already grappling with a"worst-case scenario" Covid-19 situation, a senior minister said yesterday, adding the government was preparing for a further climb in cases as the more virulent Delta variant continues to spread.

The country is struggling to slow virus transmission even after imposing its toughest mobility curbs so far.

Indonesia began its vaccine roll-out in January, but only about 5.8 per cent of its 270 million people have received both shots.

Yesterday's record 56,757 cases was the latest of many peaks in the past month. The country has 2.7 million cases in total.

There were 982 deaths, taking the toll to more than 70,000.

In a streamed news conference, Senior Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said cases could still climb as the Delta variant, first identified in India, has a two- to three- week incubation period.

"We are already in our worst-case scenario," Mr Luhut said.

"If we are talking about 60,000 (cases a day) or slightly more than that, we are okay. We are hoping not for 100,000, but even if we get there, we are preparing for that," he added.

The government has converted buildings into isolation facilities, deployed fresh graduate doctors and nurses to treat virus patients and imported oxygen and drugs, he said. - REUTERS