A Note from Chargé d'Affaires Ad Interim Ardi Stoios-Braken

Until recently I had no special association with the word ‘delta’ – just a reference to a letter in the Greek alphabet. But it has taken on an altogether different meaning over the past couple of weeks, as the Delta variant is a major factor in the immense increase of the number of Covid infections in Indonesia.

At the embassy, we learnt about more and more severe cases of family members of staff who had become infected, sometimes even with fatal consequences. It became more visible that hospitals reached the limits of their capacity, that health workers are overburdened and cemetries had to be expanded to allow for the burial of all the deceased.

I imagine that for many of us Covid came much closer over the past weeks, leading to new worries, concerns and uncertainty about what is going to happen in the near future. Where many of us dared to start thinking about a return to some form of normality not too long ago, we now have to face the fact, that Covid will also claim a large chunk of this year.

In the spirit of solidarity and partnership, the government of The Netherlands has in various ways offered support to the Indonesian government, amongst others by a donation of 3 million vaccines and medication. It is heartening to learn that from within the Dutch community in Indonesia also critical support is being given, for instance by keeping food supplies going and by helping to address oxygen shortages. We are proud of you!

As we spend a lot of time at home, we have more time to read. I hope that this latest issue of our newsletter Happenings is a welcome way to receive an update about recent embassy developments.

Wishing you happy reading, but foremost that you and your families will all stay safe and healthy!

Ardi Stoios-Braken,

 Chargé d'Affaires