Coronavirus: Indonesia's real death toll likely 1,000 already, says senior medic

Municipality workers bury a coronavirus victim at a cemetery area in Sangihe Island, North Sulawesi.
Municipality workers bury a coronavirus victim at a cemetery area in Sangihe Island, North Sulawesi.PHOTO: REUTERS/INDONESIA OUT

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's death toll from the new coronavirus has likely reached 1,000, nearly double the official figure of 535, Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) chairman Daeng Faqih was quoted saying on Saturday (April 18).

There is a discrepancy between official figures and IDI's estimate, as official data did not include deaths of patients suspected to have coronavirus but still awaiting tests.

"Those who were yet to be confirmed with Covid-19 were also reported by hospitals as death by coronavirus," Daeng told local media.

Indonesia's health ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Even with the official figure, Indonesia has reported more coronavirus deaths than any Asian country except China.

Indonesia's health ministry on Saturday reported 325 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the world's fourth most populous country to 6,248.

University of Indonesia's public health faculty has warned that there could be more than 140,000 deaths and 1.5 million cases across Indonesia by May unless the government takes tougher action.

Indonesia on Friday surpassed the Philippines to become the country with the highest number of infections in South-east Asia.