Indonesia: On edge of catastrophe as COVID-19 overwhelms hospitals

Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta/Geneva, 29 June 2021: Urgent increases are needed in medical care, testing and vaccinations as Indonesia teeters on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe.

The more dangerous and deadly Delta COVID-19 variant is fuelling infections that are skyrocketing across Indonesia, overwhelming hospitals and oxygen supplies in Jakarta and other areas of the country.

Less than 5 per cent of Indonesia’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. Indonesia faces global vaccine inequity in acquiring 360 million doses needed to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population.

More than 20 per cent of COVID-19 tests in Indonesia are positive according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, indicating that the number of people who are sick and infected is likely to be much more widespread.

Sudirman Said, Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross said:

“We are seeing record number of infections but every statistic is a person who is suffering, grieving or struggling to support the people they love. Our medical teams are providing lifesaving care, with hospitals full to the brim and oxygen supplies critically low.

“The Indonesian Red Cross COVID-19 hospital in Bogor, West Java, is overflowing. We have set up emergency tents at the hospital to accommodate more patients, with many travelling for hours so they can access vital medical care.”

Indonesian Red Cross has urgently ramped up efforts to treat people and contain COVID-19 across the country, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Almost 6,500 volunteers are providing medical care and ambulance services, administering vaccines, testing people and providing safe water, masks and hygiene supplies while running public information campaigns.

Jan Gelfand, IFRC’s Head of Indonesia Delegation, said:

“Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe.

“We need lightning-fast action globally so that countries like Indonesia have access to the vaccines needed to avert tens of thousands of deaths. We must focus on getting vaccinations into the arms of those most at-risk and all adults everywhere to contain this virus.”

The IFRC is seeking vital funding for its global emergency COVID-19 appeal, with around 55% of the appeal covered so far. The funds are crucial to support the lifesaving actions of the IFRC and member Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world.