Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Delta variant taking hold of Indonesia’s Papua as hospitals near capacity

PIXABAY

JAKARTA — Hospitals in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua are nearing full capacity amid a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, with health officials bracing for the full impact of the virulent Delta variant on one of the country’s least-developed areas.

The bed occupancy rate at some hospitals in Papua province had reached 100%, with emergency units and tents being used to treat COVID-19 patients, Dr. Aaron Rumainum, head of the Papua health agency’s disease control and prevention unit, said.

“We have the same problem as Java. Isolation rooms are full and there is a lack of oxygen,” he told Reuters, adding the Delta variant, first identified in India, had now been detected in the province.

Indonesia is in the throes of a raging coronavirus epidemic, with shortages of hospital beds and oxygen reported across the capital Jakarta, and other parts of densely populated Java island — a situation now fanning out to less developed regions.

Across Papua province the bed occupancy rate was about 57% but in the provincial capital of Jayapura it was more than 96%, said Silwanus Sumule, COVID-19 taskforce spokesperson and deputy director of the Jayapura General Hospital (RSUD).

There were currently 47 people waiting in the corridors, unable to get a room, he said.

“Maybe 47 isn’t a lot in places like Java, but it’s really big here,” he said. “We’ve never experienced this before, placing patients in corridors like that.”

Indonesia’s Papuan region, divided into the two provinces of West Papua and Papua, has poorly equipped health facilities and low vaccination rates, leaving it dangerously exposed to the virus.

“Before COVID, there was already endemic disease in Papua that was not well handled, such as malaria and tuberculosis, let alone this emergency situation,” said Adriana Elisabeth, a political analyst from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) who researches Papua.

“If the government does not restrict mobility, the healthcare system will certainly collapse.”

BLOCKADING PAPUA
Earlier this week, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he was considering blocking access in and out of the province to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to media reports.

A spokesperson for the governor was not immediately available for comment.

Based on data from Indonesia’s ministry of health, Papua has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with less than 6% of people fully vaccinated, while positivity rates have surpassed 31%.

Activists say vaccination levels have remained stubbornly low in part because some indigenous Papuans distrust the central government, while nurses in the region say disinformation about the pandemic is rampant.

Adding to the complexity of a health response, a low-level insurgency for Papuan independence has simmered for decades and many may be wary of cooperating with authorities particularly if security forces are involved.

Indonesia has reported more than 2.9 million coronavirus cases and 77,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with an accelerating caseload and high death rate making the country the current epicentre of Asia’s outbreak. Public health experts say the true number of infections is likely several times higher.

Indonesia’s death rate from COVID-19 was more than three times the global rate as of July 20, based on Our World in Data figures.

This week, President Joko Widodo announced that existing social restrictions would be extended until July 25, but could be eased if infections dropped. — Agustinus Beo Da Costa/Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Editor’s Pick

People living in rural areas are having to travel further to find somewhere to withdraw and deposit cash free of charge, says the...

Editor’s Pick

Ministers have ruled out extending the list of workers who are exempt from self-isolation rules and warned that the August 16 date for...

News

Philippine-based companies that offer online gambling services to offshore markets, such as China, fueled office market growth in the country last year. — REUTERS...

News

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday approved the recommendation of his pandemic task force to enforce stricter quarantine rules in...

News

https://www.sws.org.ph/ Thirty-seven percent of Filipinos are optimistic that their lives will improve over the next 12 months, a non-commissioned survey shows. Of the 1,200...

News

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi — PHILSTAR Six electricity consumers on Friday filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary...

You May Also Like

When people envision technology overtaking society, many think of The Terminator and bulletproof robots. Or Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a symbol...

Financial Advisors

Stock Markets9 hours ago (Jul 02, 2020 04:45AM ET) (C) Reuters. ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in June to post their first...

Economy

SAN FRANCISCO — The spread of the coronavirus has meant feast or famine for technology start-ups. While many are cutting staff and slashing costs...

Economy

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!