mandag 20. april 2020

Indonesia's health system is vulnerable to COVID-19. Why was it late to adopt social distancing?

The coronavirus pandemic could not have struck Indonesia at a worse time of year. The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the archipelago comes as the majority Muslim nation prepares for the fasting month of Ramadan — starting next week — and the annual exodus of millions of people from Jakarta and major cities for their home villages.

Last year, almost 20 million people left greater Jakarta for the week-long Lebaran holiday that coincides with Idul Fitri, when Muslims feast and celebrate the end of Ramadan. With most businesses and stores now closed in Jakarta — the epicentre of the outbreak — about 1 million people have already left the capital. It has fuelled fears they will take the virus with them to other parts of the country and cause an explosion of COVID-19 cases.