Sumary of Death rates soar in Southeast Asia as virus wave spreads:
- KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Indonesia has converted nearly its entire oxygen production to medical use just to meet the demand from COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe.
- And in Myanmar’s largest city, graveyard workers have been laboring day and night to keep up with the grim demand for new cremations and burials.
- The deaths have followed record numbers of new cases being reported in countries across the region which have left health care systems struggling to cope and governments scrambling to implement new restrictions to try to slow the spread.
- When Eric Lam tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized on June 17 in the Malaysian state of Selangor, the center of the country’s outbreak, the corridors of the government facility were already crowded with patients on beds with no room left in the wards.
- But those measures take time to achieve the desired effect, and right now countries are struggling to cope.
- with the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, daily use has increased fivefold to more than 2,000 tons, according to Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono.
- There are growing concerns that Sinovac is less effective against the delta variant, however, and both Indonesia and Thailand are planning booster shots of other vaccines for their Sinovac-immunized health workers.
- In Myanmar, the pandemic had taken backseat to the military’s power seizure in February, which set off a wave of protests and violent political conflict that devastated the public health system.