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Coronavirus

Why are Indonesia's COVID cases surging? Five things to know

Worse is yet to come as doubts rise over Chinese vaccines

Gravediggers bury a coffin at a Muslim burial area provided by the government for COVID-19 victims in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, on Wednesday.   © Reuters

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.

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