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Indonesia: A record number of doctors died in the first half of July, even though 95% had a COVID vaccine

The number of deaths of doctors from COVID-19 in the country continued to increase sharply in the first half of July as the Indian variant (Delta) spread, Reuters news agency quoted the Indonesian professional association as saying.

A girl mourns after the funeral of her 56-year-old father who passed away due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the burial area provided by the government for COVID-19 victims, in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 28. — REUTERS/WILLY KURNIAWAN

A total of 114 doctors died between July 1 and July 17, the highest number reported for any similar time period. In total, Indonesia has recorded 545 doctors’ deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, officials from the Indonesian Doctors’ Association (IDI) said in an online news conference.

Mahesa Paranadipa, a senior IDI official, said the association was concerned that the health system might not be able to cope with the new outbreak.

“We are worried about the possibility of a collapse of the health system,” Paranadipa said. “This is only reported data, not data that may not have been reported to us.”

The number of deaths among doctors has increased in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, despite a vaccination rate among health care workers of 95%. This prompted the government to use a series of Moderna vaccines as boosters after administering China’s Sinovac to medical staff.

Indonesia has reported more cases of the Wuhan virus than any other country in the world in recent days. The country is second only to Brazil in the number of deaths.

Health experts are calling Indonesia the new epicenter of the pandemic. Indonesia reported 44,721 new cases and 1,093 new deaths from the virus on Sunday (July 18).

The government imposed strict movement restrictions on July 3 to slow the spread of the virus. The restrictions will end next Tuesday, but can be extended.

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