Coronavirus pandemic

Indonesia's death toll may be double official figure: Doctors' association

An Indonesian soldier putting a mask on a man in Darul Imarah, Aceh, yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
An Indonesian soldier putting a mask on a man in Darul Imarah, Aceh, yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • Indonesia's death toll from the coronavirus has likely reached 1,000, nearly double the official figure of 582, Indonesian Doctors' Association (IDI) chairman Daeng Faqih was quoted as saying on Saturday.

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

The Health Ministry yesterday reported 327 new cases, taking the total number of infections in the world's fourth-most populous country to 6,575.

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

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

Indonesia has extended stricter social distancing rules to millions of people living on the main island of Java and in West Sumatra.

Large-scale social restrictions have been put in place across five regions in West Java - Cimahi city, Bandung regency, West Bandung regency, Sumedang regency and Bandung city - that collectively house almost nine million people, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said in a statement issued by the Indonesian Cabinet secretariat last Friday.

A similar order has been given for Tegal, a city in Central Java, and for the province of West Sumatra.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2020, with the headline Indonesia's death toll may be double official figure: Doctors' association. Subscribe