Indonesia records biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases
JAKARTA : Indonesia reported 1,624 coronavirus infections yesterday in its biggest jump in new cases since the pandemic began, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.
This brings the total number of infections to 59,394. The country also reported 53 new deaths, taking cumulative Covid-19 fatalities to 2,987.
Indonesia also said it is working to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine next year.
This comes amid growing anxiety that developing countries could have difficulty getting access to a future jab, the head of Indonesia's national Covid-19 research team said yesterday.
"The production capability and capacity of biotech companies in the world is, we know, limited, and global supply chains also have challenges," Mr Ali Ghufron Mukti, head of the innovation team at Indonesia's research and technology ministry, told a streamed press conference alongside the country's foreign minister.
"Therefore, it is necessary for Indonesia to develop its own Covid-19 vaccine." he said.
"We are... optimistic that in the year 2021 and early 2021, this will be finished in the laboratory," he said, adding state-owned firm Bio Farma could conduct trials in the second half of next year.
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has in recent months spoken about the need for developing countries to have access to any future vaccine, amid concern that rich countries would try to corner a limited supply.
Such concerns increased this week, when the US announced it had bought up most of the global supply of Gilead Science's drug remdesivir, shown to speed up recovery times from Covid-19.
The pandemic has sparked a race to find a vaccine, with more than 100 in development and around a dozen already being tested in humans.
Meanwhile, Thailand yesterday reported six new coronavirus cases, all of which were imported, marking 38 successive days without any domestic transmission.
Malaysia recorded three new cases yesterday, of which two are local transmissions.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the imported case is a Malaysian who returned from Singapore. - REUTERS, THE STAR