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As Jakarta heads into lockdown, doctors warn of buckling health system

Jumat, 11 September 2020 / 05:55 WIB
As Jakarta heads into lockdown, doctors warn of buckling health system
ILUSTRASI. Gubernur DKI Jakarta Anies Baswedan dan Wakil Gubernur Ahmad Riza Patria mengumumkan perkembangan Covid-19 di Jakarta, Rabu (9/9/2020).

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Doctors in Indonesia’s capital warned on Thursday the coronavirus pandemic is “not under control” with Jakarta intensive care units nearing full capacity and the city ordering new lockdown measures amid a spike in infections.

Indonesia posted a record high 3,861 positive cases on Thursday, while the capital has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on average each day this month, placing considerable strain on hospitals in the world’s fourth most populous nation.

The occupancy rate of isolation rooms at 67 coronavirus referral hospitals is currently at 77%, while the ICU occupancy is 83%, according to the Jakarta administration.

“It is like we have been running a marathon since March, we are exhausted,” said Erlina Burhan, a pulmonologist from Persahabatan Hospital, “This is not to be underestimated. The situation is not under control.”

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The number of patients being treated for suspected cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, tripled from July to August at Persahabatan, Jakarta’s main referral hospital.

"The government should anticipate the rise in cases by adding more medical facilities in hospitals… but the need of the medical workers needs to be anticipated as well," Halik Malik, spokesman for Indonesia's medical association, told Reuters, acknowledging that pressure on the health system was high.

"Doctors are forced to work overtime, fatigued amidst the low protection," he added.

Fears that the city's healthcare system may be soon pushed to brink saw Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Wednesday reimpose lockdown measures starting Sept. 14, with residents told to work, study and pray at home.

“Right now, this is an emergency — more pressing than the start of the pandemic,” he said.

Without tighter social restrictions, hospitals may be forced to turn coronavirus patients away by as early as next week, data from the Jakarta government showed.