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Indonesian travel agencies offer vaccine tours to US as cases surge at home

Indonesian travel agencies offer vaccine tours to US as cases surge at home
Indonesian travel companies are advertising US vaccine tours for the rich, while those less wealthy have to wait for their jabs as Covid-19 runs rampant in the country.

An Indonesian travel company has created vaccine tours to get business booming again after losing 75% of its revenue due to the pandemic. The company’s sales director, Lilik Budiman, claimed that “we are helping those who want to get vaccinated, but are having difficulties [getting a shot]. Since they want to travel at the same time, why not combine both?”

The company, ATS Vacations, openly advertises tours to the States and a complimentary single-shot dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine as part of the trip’s itinerary.

Also on rt.com Taiwan’s daily Covid-19 infections tally drops below 100 as 2.5 million vaccine doses arrive from US

Holiday-maker and vaccine chaser, Muhammad Risqy Putra, told Reuters that “it just so happens that I haven’t gotten the vaccine here [in Indonesia], so I might as well go for a trip and get a vaccine there.”

However, the trips are only accessible for Indonesians who can afford to travel, as each tour can range from just over $1,000 to almost $4,000, depending on location and group size.

Meanwhile, Indonesians who cannot afford to travel have no other choice but to wait to be offered a vaccination at home. The Indonesian government approved a loan of $500 million to improve Indonesia’s vaccination program from the World Bank on June 17. The loan intends to support Indonesia’s healthcare system, aid the vaccine rollout, and lessen the impact of Covid-19 in the country.

Indonesia has managed to vaccinate only 6.5% of its population, having administered 35,086,248 Covid-19 vaccines.

On Monday, the country passed an alarming milestone of two million coronavirus cases after a record number of 14,536 new cases were reported. As a result, the country will tighten lockdown measures on Tuesday, including suspending religious worship in holy buildings, and all tourism. There will also be limits placed on capacity in restaurants, cafes and offices. The country’s capital, Jakarta, is considered as one of 29 red-zone areas.

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