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Coronavirus

Indonesia Faces Virus Surge, Shortage of Oxygen

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia is facing a coronavirus surge as hospitals grapple with soaring cases amid widespread shortages of oxygen.

The country registered 1,040 confirmed deaths on Wednesday, the deadliest day since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitals are already beyond capacity and oxygen supplies are running out, leaving individuals to cope with caring for sick friends and relatives at home.

“This is our critical period during the next two weeks,” says Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response.

In the capital, daily burials have increased 10-fold since May, said Ngabila Salama, head of surveillance and immunization at the Jakarta Health Office. Of the 369 COVID-19 deaths in Jakarta reported Saturday, 45 people died at home, she said.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, has reported nearly 2.4 million infections and almost 63,000 confirmed deaths. Both numbers are considered undercounts because of low testing and tracing measures.

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