The organisation urges the Indonesian government to step up its COVID-19 vaccination and testing programmes, and to ensure that children can go back to school when it’s safe to do so.
Child infections have risen sharply as the country battles its most severe wave of infections yet. The rate of infections among children is among the highest in the world – children account for one in eight cases COVID-19, with almost 260,000 of the 2.2 million confirmed cases being children younger than 18. More than 600 children are estimated to have died.
The reasons for the spike in child infections and deaths has yet to be determined. Save the Children warned that children who are out of school are not only missing out on learning, they also face an increased risk of abuse such as domestic violence, child labour or early marriage.
Dino Satria, Chief of Humanitarian and Resilience at Save the Children in Indonesia, said:
“The recent spike in cases of COVID-19 among children in Indonesia is extremely concerning, and there’s no sign that rates will go down anytime soon without urgently speeding up COVID-19 -vaccine program. The health system is on the verge of collapse; hospitals are already being overwhelmed, oxygen supplies are running out and health services in Java and Bali are woefully ill-equipped to handle this surge in critically ill patients.
“We desperately need more vaccines – that’s the bottom line. Without help from the international community through COVAX, the COVID crisis in Indonesia will quickly spiral out of control. We hope the international community is listening. Without urgent action, many more children and adults will die.”
Save the Children will be providing tents outside hospitals in Jakarta and Bandung that have run out of beds. The organisation is also providing PPE for healthcare workers.