The government has asked oxygen producers to send all their supplies to hospitals as dozens of people die of shortages.
Indonesia is grappling with one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, with new cases more than quadrupling in one month, causing severe oxygen shortages in several areas.
At least 33 people have died in a Yogyakarta hospital when its supply ran out over the weekend and the government on Monday asked oxygen producers to send all their supplies to hospitals and clinics.
The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has led to a huge increase in infections across the country.
Indonesia reported 29,745 new infections and 558 deaths on Monday, two daily records, after the government last week ordered new virus brakes in the hard-hit capital, Jakarta, across Java and on the island of Bali vacation.
Mosques, parks, malls and restaurants have been closed in sensitive areas, while non-essential workers have been ordered to work from home.
Bambang Harymurti, a public affairs analyst in Jakarta, told Al Jazeera that the situation on the ground was worsening.
“If you look around, a lot of hospitals are either closed because they are so full that they are no longer admitting patients and they are asking people to give oxygen. The government is asking people not to buy oxygen because hospitals need it, ”he said.
“And in fact, authorities said police may have to raid many places by Thursday if this situation where people are lining up to buy oxygen and essential drugs. [continues]. Drug prices are now very high. “
The fourth most populous country in the world has seen its number of daily cases more than quadruple in less than a month and its tally stands at 2.3 million cases and 61,140 deaths.
But that figure is widely viewed as a serious undercoverage due to the low number of tests and poor tracing measures.
Indonesia’s overwhelmed health system is on the brink of collapse as stranded hospitals turn back patients, forcing desperate families to seek oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home.
Daily COVID burials in Jakarta have increased tenfold since May, and patients are dying more and more isolated at home.
The independent LaporCOVID virus data group said at least 269 people in 10 provinces have died while in isolation. The Jakarta health agency said 45 people died at home on Friday alone.
There are no official national statistics on the number of deaths from COVID at home.