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Volunteer undertakers bear the dead from Indonesian homes as COVID-19 deaths rise


Jumat, 16 Juli 2021 / 06:27 WIB
Volunteer undertakers bear the dead from Indonesian homes as COVID-19 deaths rise
ILUSTRASI. Indonesia is struggling to cope with a devastating wave of COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID - ​BOGOR. After his work as a taxi driver dried up because of Indonesia's new coronavirus restrictions, Ardi Novriansyah offered his driving skills to help his home city's buckling medical system.

Ardi, 41, is one of about 35 volunteers in Bogor, south of Jakarta, who recover the bodies of people that have died from COVID-19 while isolating at home.

Grabbing what sleep he can on a couch at the group's headquarters in an unused building, Ardi has received call outs 24 hours a day over the past month.

Ardi says his interest in humanity led him to take such a difficult job along with the camaraderie with his fellow volunteers.

"What's important is that we have a desire to help as volunteers, for humanity," he said.

Baca Juga: Indonesia bracing for worsening COVID-19 outbreak

The sight of dead bodies is something he adjusted to during an old job as an ambulance driver.

Indonesia is struggling to cope with a devastating wave of COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, which has left hospitals overflowing and meant many infected people unable to get a hospital bed simply die at home.

During a recent call out, Ardi's team retrieved the body of the mother of Novi Bawazir, who said the family had been unable to get the 64-year-old into a bed in hospital as her oxygen levels plummeted.

"My mother had a 97 rate on the oximeter," Novi said, referring to a device measuring oxygen saturation in the blood. "Within an hour, it was 37, and within minutes, she was gone."




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