Covid-19: Indonesian hospitals without oxygen in the worst pandemic wave in the country

Jacarta, 05 Jul 2021 (Lusa) – Indonesia is facing an oxygen supply shortage, which has forced some hospitals to turn away patients with covid-19, during its highest peak in positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.

Despite emergency measures in place since Saturday, Indonesia registered a record number of infections and deaths today, putting even more pressure on hospitals, which for more than a week were already close to collapse with the rise of infected with new coronaviruses.

A hospital in Bandung, on the island of Java, announced Sunday night that, due to the lack of oxygen supply, it would not be able to accept any more patients with respiratory problems during the next few days.

Over the weekend, 63 patients with covid-19 died at the Sardjito hospital in Yogyakarta, in the central region of the island of Java, when their oxygen supply ran out. Hospital director Rukmono Siswishanto said in a statement on Sunday that he had informed health authorities, including Indonesian Health Minister Budi Sadikin, that oxygen was running out.

The shortage of oxygen tanks began last week and is widespread across the country, despite being a more serious problem on the island of Java, with nearly 150 million inhabitants.

In response, the Indonesian Government ordered that priority be given to the production of oxygen for medical use, in order to meet an estimated demand of 800 tonnes of oxygen per day.

In addition, hospitals are also facing a crisis in terms of the number of beds available, with many clients staying outside hospitals.

To try to control the contagion of the new coronavirus, Indonesia has tightened restrictive measures, with the closure of schools, religious sites, parks, museums, sports stadiums, shopping centers, bars and restaurants, among other places.

The Government has also decreed teleworking for non-essential workers and the presentation of a vaccination certificate if citizens want to travel long distances.

Some experts argue that these measures are not enough to control the pandemic situation in the country. Authorities today reported 29,735 new cases and 558 deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 2.31 million and 61,140 deaths due to covid-19 in the archipelago.

 

The covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 3,980,935 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 183.7 million cases of infection by the new coronavirus, according to the latest assessment made by the French news agency AFP.

The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the United Kingdom, India and South Africa.

 

JPZS/ANP // ANP

Lusa/End

 

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