Third COVID wave looms in Indonesia as omicron spreads

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia is bracing for a third wave of COVID-19 infections as the highly transmissible omicron variant drives a surge in new cases

The country reported 11,588 new confirmed infections and 17 deaths on Saturday in the last 24-hour period.

 It was the highest daily caseload since August when Indonesia was struggling to contain a delta-driven wave.

Indonesia had recovered from last year's spike that was among the worst in the region, and daily infections had fallen to about 200 by December.

But cases are rising again just weeks after the country reported its first local omicron transmission.

“The upsurge will be extremely fast. ... We will see a sharp rise in the near future,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a news conference Friday,