In Indonesia, 800 have died due to Covid-19, many of whom are under the age of 5. Indonesia has a higher child mortality rate due to Covid than any other country. Dr Aman Bhakti Pulungan, head of the Indonesian Pediatric Society, was quoted as saying that during the week of July 12 alone, more than 150 children died of Covid-19. Half of the recent deaths have been of children under the age of 5.
Pulungan, citing pediatrician reports, said that 12.5 per cent of the country’s confirmed cases are children, an increase from the previous months. He said that our number is the largest in the world. Why are we not giving the best for our children? The NYT reported that the increase in deaths coincided with the increase in the delta variant in Southeast Asia, where vaccination rates are low, causing record outbreaks of the pandemic not only in Indonesia but also in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
In July, Indonesia overtook India and Brazil in the number of daily cases, which has become the new epicenter of the pandemic. The government on Friday reported nearly 50,000 new infections and 1,566 deaths. According to Pulungan, more than 800 children under the age of 18 have died from the virus in Indonesia since the pandemic began, but most of those deaths occurred in the last month alone. Until now, children have been the hidden victims of this pandemic, said Dr. Yasser Arafat, Asia health advisor for the non-profit group Save the Children. It won’t happen anymore. “Countries like Indonesia are not only seeing record numbers of children dying from the virus, but we are also seeing an alarming increase in children missing out on routine immunization and nutrition services that are vital to their survival,” Yasir said.
Health experts have been quoted as saying that the number of deaths among children could be due to underlying health conditions such as malnutrition, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The country’s low vaccination rate is another factor. According to the Our World in Data Project at the University of Oxford, only 16 percent of Indonesians have received a single dose and only 6 percent have been fully vaccinated.