JAKARTA -- For a brief period in May, Indonesia seemed to have gotten over the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Daily cases had more than halved compared with the peak in February, and while much of the country was still under social restrictions, there was a semblance of normalcy.
Fast forward two months, and Indonesia is now well and truly the epicenter of the pandemic in Southeast Asia. The archipelago reported 38,391 new cases on Thursday, a record. Its daily deaths of 1,040 on Wednesday was also a record, and the first time the number rose above 1,000.