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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 27, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 14 hours, 31 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Increase By 255 Percent In Indonesia. JN.1 Related Deaths Also Confirmed In Batam

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COVID-19 News: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Increase By 255 Percent In Indonesia. JN.1 Related Deaths Also Confirmed In Batam
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 27, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 14 hours, 31 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: Indonesia, like many nations globally, is currently facing an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, with hospitalizations skyrocketing by an astounding 255 percent between November 20 and December 17, 2023. As the world grapples with the emergence of the JN.1 variant and its spawns, Indonesia finds itself at the forefront of this public health crisis, prompting urgent actions and insights from health experts.


 
Rapid Surge in Hospitalizations
The data, compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), paints a grim picture of the escalating crisis.
 
Former WHO Director of Infectious Diseases for Southeast Asia, Professor Tjandra Yoga Aditama, presented a comprehensive analysis from WHO edition 162, revealing a staggering increase in hospitalized cases from an initial 41 to 149 during the specified period.
https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/covid-19-epidemiological-update---22-december-2023
 
This surge is not isolated to Indonesia alone; globally, 33 percent of the 36 countries analyzed, including Indonesia, witnessed a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
 
Delving deeper into the statistics, a 500-percent increase in cases treated at Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Indonesia, albeit from a relatively low baseline of 18 cases, further underscores the severity of the situation.
 
Global Context
In the Southeast Asia region, Indonesia stands as the epicenter of the COVID-19 resurgence, reporting 3,725 new cases between November 20 and December 17, translating to 1.4 new cases per 100 thousand people.
 
In stark contrast, Thailand, another country in the region, reported 2,120 new cases during the same period, with a higher rate of three new cases per 100 thousand people - an increase of 79 percent from the previous 28 days.

Mortality Statistics
The specter of mortality looms large over Indonesia, with the WHO report disclosing 12 COVID-19-related deaths during the specified period. Unfortunately, there is no comparative data available for the previous 28 days. This somber reality is mirrored in Thailand, where 16 deaths were reported - a disconcerting 220-percent surge from the preceding 28 days.
 
Factors Driving the Surge
Professor Aditama, a distinguished pulmonologist from the University of Indonesia, attributes the current spike in COVID-19 cases to a multifaceted array of factors. These include a decrease in population immunity, a temporal gap between the latest vaccinations and the current situation, and a concerning increase in public mobility, especially as the year draws to a close.
 
Crucially, the role of a new variant, JN.1, in fueling the surge is under scrutiny. While the exact impact is still being studied, the WHO declared JN.1 as a Variant of Interest (VOI) on December 18, 2023. This variant adds a layer of complexity to the situation and is suspected to contribute to the heightened transmission of COVID-19.
 
Public Health Measures
In response to the escalating crisis, Professor Aditama em phasizes the urgency for the public to not only complete their COVID-19 vaccinations but also diligently adhere to health protocols. The swift and collective action is deemed crucial to curbing the spread of the virus and mitigating the impact of the ongoing surge.

Governments and health authorities worldwide are closely monitoring the situation, recognizing the imperative to adapt strategies in the face of the evolving pandemic landscape. Vaccination campaigns, booster shots, and public awareness initiatives become pivotal elements in the fight against the virus.
 
JN.1 -Related Deaths in Batam
Simultaneously, the Indonesian Ministry of Health has reported the grim news of two deaths of patients infected with the Omicron JN.1 and XBB.2.3.10.1 (GE.1) sub-variants in Batam City, Riau Islands Province. This was covered in local COVID-19 News coverages:
 
https://en.tempo.co/read/1813961/indonesias-health-ministry-reports-deaths-of-two-omicron-jn-1-patients-in-batam
 
Batam City, which has recorded three cases of COVID-19 so far, now grapples with the tragic loss of two individuals. The Health Ministry received updates on COVID-19 deaths verification from the Batam Public Health Laboratory (BTKL), shedding light on the severity of the situation.
 
Verified COVID-19 Related Deaths in Batam
Beyond the broader national perspective, the focus narrows down to Batam City, where the situation has taken a poignant turn. The first patient, FV (48), tested positive for the sub-lineage BA.2.86.1 of the JN.1 variant and succumbed to the virus on December 18, 2023, at Embung Fatimah Hospital. The second patient, GNS (77), tested positive for the Subvariant Omicron GE.1 and met a similar fate on December 21, 2023, at Elizabeth Hospital (RS) Lubuk Baja.
 
These individual stories underscore the human toll of the pandemic and serve as a stark reminder of the urgency to strengthen preventive measures and healthcare infrastructure.
 
Conclusion
As Indonesia navigates this formidable wave of COVID-19 infections and the challenges posed by the Omicron variant, the global community observes with a shared concern. The evolving nature of the pandemic demands adaptive strategies, international collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to public health.
 
The experiences of Indonesia, particularly in Batam City, amplify the need for robust healthcare systems, accelerated vaccination efforts, and sustained public adherence to health protocols. The world watches, hoping for a swift resolution and drawing crucial lessons to fortify global resilience against the unpredictable twists and turns of the ongoing pandemic.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News coverages, keep on logging in to Thailand Medical News.

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