| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Bali running out of oxygen as Indonesian government ponders curbs

The Indonesian chief of health agency said that the island of Bali is running out of oxygen for its COVID-19 patients amid surge in infections, as the country battles to curb the region’s worst COVID epidemic.

Bali, famous for its tourist beaches and temples, along with the main island of Java and 15 other regions are under tight coronavirus restrictions, due to expire on Sunday. The government is negotiating whether to extend them or not.

“We’ve had an oxygen shortage since July 14 and the situation is getting critical by the day because of a surge in new cases,” Ketut Suarjaya, the head of Bali’s health agency, said as quoted by Antara state news agency as saying on Friday.

“There’s an oxygen crisis in Bali.”

Indonesia has had more than 3 million coronavirus infections and 80,598 deaths according to official data. The spread, driven by the Delta variant, has shown no sign of slowing.

Suarjaya said patients in Bali needed 113.3 tons of oxygen on Thursday, while hospitals only had 40.5 tons. He was not immediately available for comment on Saturday.

Oxygen shortages have also been seen on Java. The government has begun to import oxygen supplies from countries such as the United States and China.

  • Reuters