July 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia is bracing for its COVID-19 outbreak to get worse after a near vertical climb in cases, a senior minister said on Thursday, warning that infections had spread faster than anticipated due to the more virulent Delta variant.
The world’s fourth most populous country is struggling to slow virus transmission even after imposing its toughest mobility curbs so far.
Wednesday’s tally of more than 54,000 cases was the latest of many peaks in the past month, and up more than tenfold on the number of infections at the start of June.
In a streamed news conference, senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan said daily COVID-19 cases could still climb as the Delta variant, first identified in India, has a two- to three- week incubation period.
Singapore reported its highest number of local coronavirus cases in 10 months on Wednesday, after the discovery of a cluster among hostesses and customers of KTV karaoke lounges.
Of the 56 new community infections, 42 were linked to the KTV outbreak, the health ministry said.
The ministry has been investigating infections among what it said were Vietnamese hostesses who frequented KTV lounges or clubs and has offered free COVID-19 testing to anyone potentially exposed.
The first known case was a Vietnamese woman who sought medical help on Sunday, local media reported.
Singapore has yet to reopen KTV lounges and clubs and authorities said the places where the virus spread were operating as food and beverage outlets.