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Indonesia is now the epicenter of Asia's Covid-19 crisis
Indonesia is now the epicenter of Asia's Covid-19 crisis. Here's what you need to know

(CNN)For much of last year, it seemed like Indonesia had managed to keep its Covid-19 outbreak largely under control.

Now, the island nation -- home to about 270 million people -- has become Asia's new epicenter of the pandemic, reporting more daily cases and deaths than hard-hit India as a devastating second wave rips through the archipelago.

With tens of thousands of infections being recorded daily, experts say the country's health care system could be pushed to the brink of disaster if the spread of the virus continues unabated.

Here's what you need to know about the crisis in Indonesia.
How did Covid-19 cases and deaths surge in Indonesia?

Infections started rising toward the end of May, following the Eid Al-Fitr holidays to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month -- and soon grew exponentially.
According to health experts, the crisis is being fueled by the spread of the more infectious [url=]Delta variant
, first identified in India.

"Every day we are seeing this Delta variant driving Indonesia closer to the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe," Jan Gelfand, head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said in late June.

Experts have blamed the government for its slow response in not implementing strict lockdowns last year after cases were first reported in the country, and its alleged failure to invest in efficient testing and tracing systems.

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