Indonesia reinforces hospitals amid Covid-19 surge in some areas

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities have drafted in more doctors and nurses to two areas on the islands of Java and Madura after hospitals there approached full capacity amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the country's health minister said yesterday.

The 6,993 nationwide infections reported yesterday is the highest daily increase since March 4.

Health experts and officials are worried about the risk of a broader spike in cases fuelled by variants and a jump in travel last month, as many travelled back to their home towns for holidays after Ramadan.

In the district of Kudus in Java and Bangkalan in the neighbouring island of Madura, hospital capacity hit at least 90 per cent, media reports said.

"There are regions or clusters that are experiencing a high surge," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a news conference, noting that along with medical reinforcements, some patients had been moved to other cities for treatment.

Of Indonesia's 72,000 isolation beds, 31,000 were currently occupied, up from 22,000 people last month, said Mr Budi.

"We at the Health Ministry are preparing for the worst that all patients must be admitted to hospitals," said the minister.

Among the worst hit countries in Asia, Indonesia has reported about 1.86 million Covid-19 cases and more than 51,000 deaths. - REUTERS