The Jakarta Post
Indonesia reached 600,000 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Friday and set a single-day fatality record as the country’s outbreak showed no sign of abating.
The Health Ministry confirmed 6,310 new cases on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 605,243 cases.
The country also confirmed 175 new deaths on Friday, the highest single-day figure it has recorded, bringing the death toll to 18,511.
Indonesia, the most populous country in Southeast Asia, has topped the region in terms of confirmed cases and fatalities. The country is in the top 20 in the world in confirmed cases.
Since Indonesia’s first cases were detected in early March, it has recorded a steady increase, reaching an average of about 6,000 new cases daily over the past week. On Dec. 3, the country confirmed a record 8,369 new cases.
The outbreak has reached 510 of the country’s 514 regencies and cities and all its 34 provinces.
Jakarta remains the province with the highest number of cumulative cases at 150,250. The city has also had 2,900 deaths. It is followed by East Java with 68,361 cases and 4,791 deaths.
Other hard-hit provinces include Central Java with 64,608 cases, West Java with 64,072, South Sulawesi with 22,661, Riau with 21,996, East Kalimantan with 21,965 and West Sumatra with 21,503.
The government has tested more than 4.21 million people through more than 6.27 million samples. There are currently 64,845 suspected cases nationwide.
The country held simultaneous regional elections on Wednesday, despite calls from experts and civil groups to postpone them because of the COVID-19 transmission risk.
More than 100 million people were registered to vote in the elections, which decided nearly 270 leadership positions in 309 cities and regencies.
The government has claimed that health protocols were closely monitored during polling.
In an effort to prevent additional COVID-19 clusters, the government has reduced the number of collective leave days for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. A recent survey showed that 75 percent of Indonesians planned to travel during the upcoming holiday.
In the two weeks after the long Idul Fitri holiday in May, Indonesia recorded increases of between 69 and 93 percent in its daily and weekly averages of new COVID-19 cases. It also recorded a surge of between 58 and 118 percent in daily and weekly averages in the two weeks after the long Independence Day weekend in August.