JAKARTA: Indonesia reports 4,106 new coronavirus infections on Sunday (Nov 15), taking the total caseload to 467,113, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
It recorded 63 COVID-19 deaths, taking the number of fatalities to 15,211.
As of Sunday, 391,991 people have recovered from the virus.
On Friday, Indonesia said it has sought emergency authorisation to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of the year.
In an interview with Reuters, President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, said plans were already advanced to distribute the vaccine across the entire country.
If approval is granted by the country’s food and drug agency, known by its Indonesian acronym BPOM, it will mean Indonesia – with 270 million people, the world’s fourth most populous country – will be among the first in the world to roll out a coronavirus vaccine.
“We expect to start the vaccination process by the end of this year following a series of tests by BPOM,” Jokowi said.
Jokowi added that ensuring the safety of the vaccine was a priority, and that health workers, police and the military would be first in line when the vaccination campaign begins.
READ: Indonesia plans mass vaccination campaign as COVID-19 cases hit another daily record
At a ministerial roundtable after the Jokowi interview, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said the government expects BPOM approval in the first week of December and for Indonesia to “begin vaccinating” two weeks later.
Vaccines produced by China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm are slated to be used in the early stages of the campaign.
This year, the companies will provide 18 million vaccines, including 15 million that will be manufactured by Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma.
All in, Indonesia has deals for more than 250 million doses until the end of 2021. This includes 30 million produced by the US company Novavax, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Airlangga Hartarto told Reuters.
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