Photo by Ahmad Tri Hawaari for Antara.

Sixteen months after announcing its first case of Covid-19, last week Indonesia passed the ominous milestone of two million officially recorded cases, amid a surge in daily numbers. In response, local government officials in some parts of Java are moving to declare ‘red zones’ and limit movement in their regions. Hospitals are exceeding their capacities, and images of patients queuing in makeshift wards are beginning to proliferate on social media, as are calls for help from loved ones of the sick unable to get medical care.

What are the causes of this recent spike in Covid-19 cases? What does it tell us about the way the government has handled the crisis over the past 16 months? How dire will the situation become, and can the vaccination rollout help to mitigate its impacts?

In this special early episode of Talking Indonesia, Jemma Purdey talks to Dr Dicky Budiman, a medical doctor, epidemiologist and advisor to governments and international organisations for more than 20 years. Dicky is currently completing his PhD at Griffith University on global health security, risk communication and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2021, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Annisa Beta from the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

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