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The Sydney Morning Herald Claims Indonesia Could Be the World's Next Coronavirus Hotspot

June 24, 2020, 11.35 PM – Indonesia could be the world’s next coronavirus hotspot as it continues to report record-breaking new daily infections, according to an analysis piece published recently by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The report, published on June 19, is based on various assessments of Indonesia's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While global media have monitored the daily infection rates in the thousands recorded in the United States, India, Russia, and Brazil, somehow Indonesia has fallen under the radar despite the country following similar trends.

Read also: President Jokowi Focuses on 3 Provinces Hit Hard By Covid-19

The Sydney Morning Herald recalled that Indonesia reported over 1,000 new Covid-19 daily cases for eight consecutive days.

At the time, Indonesia had a nationwide total of 42,762 confirmed Covid-19 cases, but epidemiologists are concerned that the country has at least 60,000 total Covid-19 cases.

Read also: What's Fuelling the Rise in Indonesia's Covid-19 Cases?

Indonesia’s low testing rate coupled with its high Covid-19 fatality rate are more alarming than the undetected cases the country is believed to host.

Testing rate

According to Worldometer data on June 18, Indonesia tested 10,000 people although it was the only time that it managed to do so. Indonesia is ranked in the 163rd position when it comes to its testing rate.

The ASEAN founding member-state carries out 2,193 tests per 1,000,000 people.

This puts Indonesia’s testing rank closer to that of India at 138th place with 4,530 tests for every million people.

Read also: Indonesia Starts Domestic Production of PCR Test Kits

The United States and Brazil are each ranked number 27th and 108th respectively.

Brazil conducts 11,302 tests per million people while the United States carries out 80,750 tests per million.

Growing trend

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan believes that the Covid-19 fatality rate is higher than what is reported.

Aside from a growing number of infections, many countries have eased lockdown with Indonesia gradually lifting its large-scale social restriction measures.

Public transportation, airlines, shopping centers, and places of worship in Indonesia have reopened.

Read also: WHO Cautions Indonesia on New Normal Preparations

Despite reporting 66 new Covid-19 cases on June 18, Bali’s government officials are considering plans to welcome tourists from China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

The downtrend of the regional economy resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has pressured the Bali provincial government to open up their tourism sector.

Indonesia’s first Covid-19 cases

The Indonesian government’s early response to the coronavirus pandemic came under heavy scrutiny.

When the coronavirus pandemic first started, Indonesia’s Minister of Health said that the power of prayer would protect Indonesia from the Covid-19 virus.

President Jokowi has admitted to hiding public information to avoid certain dangers. Indonesia only announced its first early Covid-19 cases on March 2.

This was despite overwhelming evidence that the virus had entered the country much earlier than March. 

(Writer: Nur Fitriatus Shalihah | Editor: Sari Hardiyanto) 


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