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Indonesia launches mass vaccination to fight virus


Thousands of Indonesians lined up at a sports stadium to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose at a mass, one-day event that is part of a push to fight the country’s virus as hospitals fill with sick patients

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Thousands of Indonesians held a massive one-day event at a sports stadium on Thursday to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose, in a bid to dramatically escalate the country’s virus fight. Part of a push is because hospitals fill with sick patients. .

Earlier this week, the Red Cross warned that the rising number of infections had put Indonesia “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe”, and that it urgently needed to increase medical care, testing and vaccinations.

Local authorities in Bekasi are aiming to vaccinate 25,000 people a day at the city’s main stadium on the outskirts of Jakarta in West Java province. Thursday’s incident was part of efforts to reach the target of 10 lakh doses per day in July and 20 lakh in August.

The hospital in Bekasi city is more than 80% full of beds, and Mayor Rahmat Efendi said tents were set up in the hospital’s parking lot to treat COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe symptoms.

Similar conditions were observed elsewhere. Outside Jakarta, a Red Cross COVID-19 hospital in Bogor was “overflowing” and was also using emergency tents.

The world’s fourth most populous country has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. Indonesia on Wednesday recorded another daily high in COVID-19 cases with 21,807 new infections and reported 467 deaths. Overall, it has reported over 2,178,000 cases with 58,491 deaths.

Indonesia aims to vaccinate more than 181 million of its 270 million people by March 2022, but officials have so far only fully vaccinated 13.4 million people and partially vaccinated another 15.8 million .

On Wednesday, the raw material for 1.4 million doses of China-based Sinovac Vaccine arrived. The country has received 118.7 million doses produced by Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.

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