North Sumatra’s COVID-19 death toll recorded at 681: task force

Medan, N Sumatra North Sumatra Province's COVID-19 death toll rose to 681 after two people in Medan City succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Friday, the provincial government's COVID-19 Task Force confirmed.

As of January 1, 2021, North Sumatra's infection rate also rose to 18,233 after 84 more residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the province's COVID-19 Task Force head, Aris Yudhariansyah, remarked.

Medan, the capital of North Sumatra Province, contributed 40 of the 84 new confirmed cases, Yudhariansyah was quoted by ANTARA as saying here on Saturday.

"The task force intensifies its monitoring during the New Year holiday season, though the recovery rate is also recorded to continue to increase," he stated.

Since the Indonesian government declared the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020, some 15,499 COVID-19 patients in North Sumatra had fully recovered as of January 1, 2021, Yudhariansyah noted.

Meanwhile, the Bangka Belitung Islands provincial government's COVID-19 Task Force reported that two quarantine places for accommodating local residents testing positive for COVID-19 had reached their peak capacity.

Hence, amid the hike in new COVID-19 cases, the task force has issued a policy on self-isolation for 121 COVID-19 patients owing to the quarantine places being fully occupied, the task force’s spokesman, Andi Prayitno, stated.

Over the past week, the number of new infection cases tended to increase significantly, so if several isolation wards were vacant, they would be prioritized for patients with companions, such as toddlers and elderly, he noted.

Indonesia has been striving to contain coronavirus infections that initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread across the globe, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of the COVID-19 vaccine to help win the fight against the pandemic that has posed a grave threat to public health and economy.

Over the past few months of 2020, the government has made efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

It is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.

Regarding the government's COVID-19 vaccination program, President Joko Widodo recently announced his readiness to be the first recipient of the vaccine once the country's Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) issues an emergency-use approval.

He has been striving to convince the entire nation to participate in the vaccination program considered crucial for the government's endeavors to end the pandemic.

Source: Antara News

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