Indonesia battles devastating second wave of COVID-19 outbreak

01 Aug 21

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Distribution of PPE to health centres. Credit: Caritas Indonesia.

Indonesia has recorded its highest daily death toll from Covid-19, amid a second serious outbreak of COVID-19. As it continues to battle the spread of the virulent Delta variant, with your support, we’re working on the ground to help the most vulnerable, marginalized communities.

There have now been over three million confirmed cases in Indonesia, with 2069 deaths recorded on Tuesday, 27th July. On average there are around 50,000 new cases a day, figures which are widely believed to be severely underestimating the real impact due to low testing rates and poor contact tracing.

Lockdown restrictions have had a significant impact on locals, as many Indonesians are reliant on informal labour, which puts their livelihoods at risk during extended emergency restrictions.

“There are so many people who work as street hawkers, vendors, shopkeepers, restaurant workers and drivers, which means that they earn their money day-to-day,” says Willy Tan, Caritas Australia’s Program Coordinator for Indonesia.

“This means that when towns and cities shut down, huge numbers of people are out of work and are put in a really vulnerable position where they might not have the savings to be able to feed themselves or their families for the duration of the outbreak.”

“Once you combine this with a health system that is nearly at its breaking point in some regions, and a critical undersupply of health workers, oxygen and drugs, you can see why this second wave of COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact on the country."

“We’re working with local communities, our partners and the Church network to support vulnerable communities to meet their daily needs during this crisis, as well as support the vaccine rollout and testing,” Willy Tan says.

With our partner, Caritas Indonesia, we’re also supporting vulnerable communities through the distribution of masks, PPE and sanitizer.

“We believe that it’s important to make sure everybody is supported during this crisis, because once this outbreak is over it will only be more challenging to rebuild if people have been plunged into poverty.”

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