Indonesia recorded its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases on Thursday, with nearly half of the 2,657 new infections reported at a military training center on the island of Java, Reuters reported.
In West Java province, 1,262 military cadets and trainers have tested positive for coronavirus, constituting a “significant new cluster,” Indonesian health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said at a press conference.
Indonesia is the most populous nation in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 267 million people living across its various islands. At press time on Thursday, Indonesia had officially recorded 70,736 cases and 3,417 deaths from the Chinese coronavirus, though public health researchers suspect the country’s numbers to be much higher “due to the limited scope of testing so far,” according to the report.
Indonesia recorded “58 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, bringing the official total to 3,417,” Yurianto said at Thursday’s health ministry press conference.
Citing data from Indonesian volunteer group Kawal Covid-19, Reuters reported on Thursday that “partial data for 20 of Indonesia’s 35 provinces gathered … from local governments’ websites … showed there were a further 6,847 deaths of people who had not been tested but showed acute symptoms.”
Indonesia’s government does not count such cases and denies that more infections exist than are officially reported. Instead, health officials insist that the country’s coronavirus outbreak – the worst in Southeast Asia –remains under control.
“We implore the people to stay calm, not panic, because it’s being taken care of professionally according to international standards,” Yurianto said Thursday, as Indonesia reels from a sharp spike in cases. On Sunday, Indonesia recorded its “highest single-day fatalities” since its outbreak started earlier this year, with 82 deaths from the virus recorded on July 5, concluding Indonesia’s “deadliest week” in terms of coronavirus, the Jakarta Globe reported.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, has been criticized domestically for failing to properly contain Indonesia’s coronavirus outbreak. Jokowi’s response to the epidemic has been restrained; he has consistently resisted calls by Jakarta’s governor for the central government to enforce a strict quarantine on the virus-stricken capital. Instead, the president has emphasized the need to focus on protecting the national economy from a total shutdown.
“We need to manage the gas and the brakes. We can’t hit the gas on the economy but let the [coronavirus outbreak] ratchet up,” Jokowi said at a meeting on Thursday, according to the report.