Indonesia posts worst rise in COVID-19 cases after outbreak among military cadets

A man crosses a road during morning rush hours after the government eased restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, near a densely populated residential area in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 8, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
A man crosses a road during morning rush hours after the government eased restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, near a densely populated residential area in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 8, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

JAKARTA, July 9 (Reuters): Indonesia reported its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus infections on Thursday, with almost half of the 2,657 new cases found at a military training centre in West Java.

 

So far, the world's fourth most populous country has 70,736 cases. But, public health researchers suspect that due to limited testing actual total cases could be far higher, though the government denies this, and has told people not to panic.

 

There were 58 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 3,417, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto told a newsconference, giving the latest official numbers.

 

Partial data for 20 of Indonesia's 35 provinces gathered by volunteer group Kawal Covid-19 from local governments websites, however, showed there were a further 6,847 deaths of people who had not been tested but showed acute symptoms.

 

The central government does not include such cases, as untested patients could have died from other causes.

 

Yurianto attributed the increasing new cases to people not wearing masks as the country re-opened and eased lockdowns.

 

He told reporters that a significant new cluster had emerged at a military training centre in West Java, where 1,262 cadets and trainers have tested positive for the disease.

 

"We implore the people to stay calm, not panic, because it's being taken care of professionally according to international standards," he said.

 

According to Yurianto, 13,732 people showing acute symptoms are currently under close medical observation, but have yet to be tested. Another 38,498 people are currently being monitored for having come in contact with the virus.