However, in the last two weeks the country has recorded fewer than 500 new daily cases just three times
While testing rates have improved and President Joko Widodo’s goal of 10,000 tests per day has been met and surpassed – 13,095 tests were performed on 7930 people according to the daily update – the country still lags well behind neighbouring countries.
Overall, 394,068 tests have been performed on 264,740 people – a relatively small number for a nation of nearly 270 million people. In comparison, Australia has performed more than 1.5 million tests on a population of 25 million people, while Singapore has performed 408,495 tests on 5.6 million people and Malaysia has done 462,257 tests on 31 million people.
More concerning is the fact that the percentage of positive tests returned is a relatively high 11.5 per cent.
Health Ministry spokesman Achmad Yurianto urged Indonesians at his daily briefing to “adapt to the protocols. Stay indoors as much as possible, wash your hands as often as possible, observe physical distancing, avoid crowds. Let us protect our families, our cities, our nation”.
“We have to understand that the vaccine we and the whole world hope for is not available yet. It’s not clear when a vaccine can be mass produced to provide us all with immunity against the virus. While waiting we have to adapt and change our way of life,” he said.
The highest number of cases reported on Saturday was 286 in East Java province, which is home to the country’s second largest city, Surabaya. Jakarta, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, reported 104 new cases.