Indonesia faces ‘unprecedented’ COVID-19 wave, implements ‘tougher curbs’

Indonesia faces 'unprecedented' COVID-19 wave, implements 'tougher curbs'

Indonesia has reached “herd stupidity” in its second COVID-19 wave, a local epidemiologist claims.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe. In recent weeks, the spotlight is on various Asian countries, specifically in Indonesia.

This comes after the number of daily new cases has shown an increasing trend. Apart from the highly transmissible Delta variant, officials link the surge to the low vaccination rates among the affected countries.

On Saturday, Indonesians, particularly in the country’s capital, entered a lockdown. Channel News Asia said that this comes as the nation “grapples with an unprecedented wave” of COVID-19 transmissions.

Stricter, ‘tougher curbs’ in Indonesia

The lockdown, which entails new and stricter restrictions, will run until July 20. But, officials reportedly noted that extensions may apply “if necessary” to reduce the daily case average across Indonesia.

Shopping malls and other stores, including restaurants and mosques, shut down on July 3. There is now also a ban on outdoor sports and the closure of non-essential workplaces.

Over 400 checkpoints and roadblocks are now also in place across Java and Bali. In enforcing the “tougher curbs,” including helping random testing, more than 21,000 officers are on-site, as well.

New COVID-19 cases surge due to Delta variant

Despite the strict restrictions, residents believe that these all “came too late,” as per reports. Gone are the days when people who have contracted the coronavirus were “strangers” as the “virus is getting so much closer.”

New COVID-19 cases surge due to Delta variant

Indonesia has reportedly seen its daily COVID-19 cases “quadrupled” in less than a month. On Friday alone, officially tallied a record of more than 25,000 new cases and a total of 539 deaths.

The Health Ministry has consequently asserted that 80 percent of these numbers are due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Moreover, it continues to drive the recent wave across the country.

To date, the country’s official figures stand at over 2.2 million cases with more than 60,000 deaths. But, reports said that many believe these numbers to be a “severe undercount due to low testing.”

“Herd stupidity” in the second wave

As the crisis persists across the nation, a local epidemiologist has deemed the situation as “herd stupidity,” according to ABC Au. Dr. Pandu Riono claimed that the country “has long been” in this state.

In his social media accounts, the expert shared that the virus replicates, reproduces, and becomes more infectious due to the behavior of the public.

Alongside the government’s “poor decisions” and “mixed messages,” many people in Indonesia “refused to follow health protocols,” he said. Moreover, many were reportedly “reluctant” to receive COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Pandu Riono added.

Images courtesy of Al Jazeera English/YouTube

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