Indonesia’s healthcare system has plunged into a crisis due to a sharp increase in the number of doctors dying due to Covid-19 as China-made vaccines have failed to protect them against the deadly disease.
As many as 114 doctors died during July 1-17 with the surge in the Delta variant of coronavirus sweeping across the country, officials from Indonesia's doctors association (IDI) said at a virtual news conference.
"We are worried about the potential of a functional collapse," Reuters quoted Mahesa Paranadipa, a senior IDI official as saying. He said the figures were based on reported data and the number could be higher as some data may not have been reported as yet.
The number of doctors who have died in Indonesia has now shot up to 545 despite 95% of all health staff being fully vaccinated with China’s Sinovac vaccine. This has now forced the government to go in for the use of US-made Moderna vaccine as a booster shot to front line health workers.
China has been projecting itself as the front-runner in the Covid vaccine race and through its aggressive diplomacy forced the ASEAN countries to try out its vaccines. This has now landed them in serious trouble.
Indonesia has reported the highest number of fresh coronavirus cases in the world in recent days as the Delta variant surges in the country, according to data from the latest seven-day average from a Reuters tracker. It was second only to Brazil in terms of the number of deaths. Indonesia reported 44,721 fresh cases and 1,093 deaths due to coronavirus on Sunday.
China-made vaccines have failed in Thailand and Singapore as well. Thailand is switching to AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a second dose for those who received a first dose of China’s Sinovac shot due to an increasing number of fully vaccinated individuals contracting the coronavirus infection, the country’s health minister has said.
Thailand has also decided to give its front line workers, who were fully vaccinated with Sinovac, an extra dose of an mRNA vaccine as a booster shot.
There has been a complete lack of public clinical data to back up claims of Chinese companies on their vaccines. Even these claims have been inconsistent which has raised further doubts over the efficacy of the vaccines.
In a major setback to China’s vaccines, Singapore is not counting its citizens who received Sinovac Biotech shots as being vaccinated against COVID-19 due to lack of data to show that the doses are effective against coronavirus, especially the Delta strain.
"We don't really have a medical or scientific basis or have the data now to establish how effective Sinovac is in terms of infection and severe illnesses on Delta," local media cited health minister Ong Ye Kung as saying at a press conference last week.