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The New York Times: Hundreds of children died in Indonesia due to Corona

Hundreds of children in Indonesia have died as a result of contracting the coronavirus in recent weeks, many of them under the age of five, a mortality rate greater than any other country, and disproving the notion that children face minimal risks from COVID-19.

And the American newspaper (New York Times) reported that the deaths among children, which exceeded 100 deaths this week, come at a time when Indonesia is facing the largest increase so far in cases of the Corona virus in general.

The jump in child deaths coincides with an increase in the number of cases of the delta variant, which has swept through Southeast Asia, where vaccination rates are low, causing major outbreaks of the disease not only in Indonesia but also in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

According to the newspaper, Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, this month overtook India and Brazil in the number of daily cases, to become the new epicenter of the epidemic, and the Indonesian government reported nearly 50,000 new infections and 1,566 deaths last Friday.

Reports indicate that children now make up 12.5 percent of confirmed cases in Indonesia, an increase from previous months. More than 150 children died of COVID-19 in the second week of July alone, and half of the recent deaths included those under five years old.

Overall, Indonesia has reported more than 3 million cases and 83,000 deaths, but health experts say the actual numbers are much higher because testing has been so limited.

According to the newspaper, more than 800 children in Indonesia under the age of 18 have died from the virus since the pandemic began, but the majority of these deaths occurred only during the past month.

Health experts said that a number of factors contributed to the high number of deaths among children, some of whom may be susceptible to the virus as a result of health conditions such as malnutrition, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Indonesia's low vaccination rate is another factor, with only 16 percent of Indonesians receiving a single dose of the vaccine, and only 6 percent fully vaccinated.

Like other countries, Indonesia does not vaccinate children under the age of 12 and only recently started vaccinating those aged 12-18.