Jakarta (Indonesia) July 6 (ANI): More than 60 people have lost their lives due to oxygen shortage in hospitals of Indonesia last weekend.
The country with world's fourth-largest population is struggling with the highly infectious Delta variant. Indonesia reported 29,745 new cases on July 5 bringing the total cases to 2,313,829. A total of 61,140 people have lost their lives due to the pandemic till now.
The islands of Bali and Java -- which includes the capital Jakarta -- went under emergency lockdown on Saturday to curb the spread of coronavirus, CNN reported.
Sardjito hospital in Java Island said 63 patients died between Saturday and early Sunday after it nearly exhausted its oxygen supplies. The hospital said it had sought more oxygen for days before the incident, but oxygen's demand has been continuously increasing since Friday.
The ministry overseeing the country's COVID-19 response has ordered the gas industry to prioritise the production of medical oxygen to fulfill the estimated demand of 800 metric tonnes each day.
The industry has an idle capacity of producing 2,25,000 metric tonnes per year that can still be used. The daily figures of funerals have spiked tenfold since early May, CNN reported.
Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin expressed "the country has seen a dramatic increase in confirmed cases after the festive holidays. This variant hits everyone, not only children but also adults. If we compare it with the previous wave, the number of confirmed cases has increased significantly faster in both adults and children."
The Indonesian government is now transforming Jakarta stadium into a hospital, with a capacity to provide 5,000 additional beds. The administration is also recruiting newly graduated nurses and doctors across the country to help treat patients in the worst-hit areas, reported CNN.
The country will also started restricting the arrival of foreign visitors, allowing in only those who are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test, although diplomatic travel is excluded. But every visitor has to spend at least eight hours in quarantine. (ANI)