The Jakarta Post
The national COVID-19 task force confirmed 5,444 new cases on Friday, the highest single-day figure the country has seen, as the cumulative death toll passed 15,000, two weeks after a long weekend during which thousands of people traveled throughout the country.
Friday was the first time daily cases surpassed 5,000. The previous one-day record was 4,850 new cases, reported on Oct. 8.
With the addition of Friday’s figure, the country had recorded 457,735 COVID-19 cases in total.
The national COVID-19 task force announced 104 new deaths on the same day, bringing the tally to 15,037 fatalities in Indonesia, while 385,094 COVID-19 patients had recovered, leaving 57,604 active cases nationwide.
Read also: October's long weekend, next test for Indonesia's COVID-19 control efforts: Epidemiologist
A total of 37,892 new people were tested, and the positivity rate – the share of COVID-19 tests that came back positive – was 14.3 percent. The figure was almost three times the 5 percent maximum encouraged by the World Health Organization.
Central Java had 1,362 new cases, the highest of any province, surpassing Jakarta with 1,033 new cases, West Java with 801 new cases and East Kalimantan with 277 new cases.
Authorities and experts previously voiced concerns that the extended long weekend observed in the country in late October would lead to a spike in cases. Hundreds of thousands of people, many departing from Jakarta, packed airports and toll roads as they traveled to tourist destinations throughout the country.
Despite these concerns, the number of administered tests declined after the holiday, resulting in the detection of fewer cases – 2,000 to 3,000 on some days. This was attributed to labs reducing their hours and staff over the holiday.
Muhammad Budi Hidayat, the Health Ministry’s acting director general for disease control and prevention, previously told The Jakarta Post that the lower testing rate was because fewer samples were being sent to labs as suspected cases declined in some regions.
However, as of Friday, 58,896 people suspected to have the virus had yet to be tested or were awaiting results.