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Jakarta Post

Yearender 2020: What went wrong with Indonesia’s virus response?

The Jakarta Post Image
Gravediggers at the Pondok Ranggon public cemetery in East Jakarta carry a coffin using a cart on Oct. 19. The COVID-19 cemetery is predicted to run out of burial space by the end of December.(JP/P.J. Leo)
Ardila Syakriah
PREMIUM
Jakarta   ●   Wed, December 30, 2020

Indonesians are still as much in the dark as they were at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unlike many other countries, Indonesia has yet to see the peak of its first wave, let alone a flattened curve.

It took Indonesia less than five months since its first cases were reported on March 2 to surpass 100,000 cumulative cases in July and another four months to record five times as many cases, surpassing half a million infections in November.

Deaths topped 10,000 in September, roughly six months after the first fatality was recorded on March 11. The figure doubled in less than three months by December.

Experts say that if not for policy flip-flops and disregard for science, the poor coordination between the central government and local authorities, as well as the absence of a commitment to health priorities over the economy, Indonesia would not have to...

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