The volunteers are lecturers, security guards, artists and police officers who set aside their time to help the community, which is being ravaged by Covid. They work until nightfall. Indonesia’s Covid outbreak has escalated rapidly over the past six weeks, driven by the more infectious Delta variant, and exacerbated by what health experts describe as a weak public health response. Its daily cases numbers – 56,757 infections on Thursday – have overtaken those of India, making it the centre of Asia’s outbreak.
In cities across Java island, hospitals are so overwhelmed that they are turning patients away. Burial workers are working until after dark to keep up with the fatalities. Almost 70,000 people have died since the pandemic began, according to official records, though this is though to be a huge underestimate.