‘My son dreamt of becoming a soldier’: COVID-19 takes a toll on Indonesian children

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JAKARTA: Indonesian Erwin, not his real name, felt his world instantly collapse last month. The 58-year-old coffee sachet seller, who usually cycles the streets of Bandung in West Java to sell his brew, was struggling to make ends meet due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that was not his only

JAKARTA: Indonesian Erwin, not his real name, felt his world instantly collapse last month.

“We brought him to a health clinic and they provided intravenous infusion, and performed a polymerase chain reaction test on him. It was positive. He only spent a night at the health clinic and then he passed away. He also said that at least 207,000 children have contracted the disease in Indonesia. Out of this, around 90,000 of them contracted the virus since Jul 14.

With more than 3.6 million cases and 104,000 deaths so far, experts are worried more children will die. They have urged the authorities to take immediate actions to prevent more deaths.Another parent who had to endure the loss of a child is Mdm Tantien Hermawati, 35. Mdm Hermawati eventually went to Surabaya and the baby underwent a cardiac catheterisation to diagnose and treat heart conditions.

Prof Pulungan, who is also the executive director of the International Pediatric Association , added that comorbidity is the underlying factor for fatality involving infants under the age of one. “Since the start of the pandemic last year, Indonesian children are among the highest in missing routine vaccination, critical health and nutrition services, which further make them at risk of infection and death with aggregating malnutrition or underlying medical conditions in early life,” said Mr Sudrajat.


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