The country’s low vaccination rate is another factor. Just 16 percent of Indonesians have received one dose and only 6 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford. Like other countries, Indonesia does not vaccinate children under 12 and only recently began vaccinating those between 12 and 18.
At the same time, many hospitals have been stretched beyond their limit by the recent surge in cases, with patients waiting in hallways and overflow tents for a bed in a ward to open. Few hospitals are set up to care for children with Covid.
“If the children get sick, where are we going to take them?” Dr. Aman asked. “To the emergency room? Emergency wards are overwhelmed with adults. And as you have seen for the past couple of weeks, people have to wait at the emergency room for days. How do we expect children to go through that?”
With hospitals at capacity, about two-thirds of adult patients are in isolation at home, which increases the chance that children will be infected, said Edhie Rahmat, executive director for Indonesia at the nonprofit health-care group Project HOPE.
Infants are also put at risk by the tradition of friends and neighbors visiting a newborn’s home to celebrate the birth, he said.