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Indonesia extends Covid curbs after hitting record national daily deaths as infections spike

Indonesia extends Covid curbs after hitting record national daily deaths as infections spike
The president of Indonesia has announced that coronavirus restrictions will be extended until at least July 25, as Covid-19 fatalities and infections continue to shoot up in the Southeast Asian country.

President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday that existing restrictions, including the closure of shopping centers and work-from-home mandates, will remain in place until next week due to the high level of infection currently being seen in the country.

While the government aims to begin easing these restrictions from Monday onwards, such a move is dependent on whether infections are decreasing. Earlier this month, when the restrictions were announced, the government indicated it wanted infections at a level of 10,000 cases a day or fewer before easing the curbs.

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The decision to extend the coronavirus measures comes after Indonesia recorded its highest daily Covid deaths on Monday, with 1,338 lives lost. Cases, whilst showing a slight drop on July 20 to some 38,000 new infections, are still high.

Indonesia recently became the coronavirus epicenter of Southeast Asia, having overtaken India in the number of daily confirmed cases. On each of Friday and Saturday, Indonesia reported more than 50,000 Covid cases, while India reported 38,000 and 41,000, respectively.

Hospital systems are reportedly over-stretched in Indonesia, with scenes of car parks being turned into emergency departments captured earlier this month, as well as incidences of oxygen shortages and doctors having to choose which patients to save.

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A slow vaccine rollout has also exacerbated the effects of the pandemic on the country. According to Our World in Data, 15.1% of the population has received one dose of a vaccine, and 6% are fully inoculated.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Indonesia has recorded more than 76,000 deaths and over 2.9 million cases, according to government figures.

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