The Jakarta Post
A male patient suspected of COVID-19 died on Feb. 23 at Kariadi Central General Hospital in Semarang, Central Java, after being treated in an isolation room for nearly a week.
The patient had reportedly returned to Indonesia on Feb. 12 from Spain via Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and presented symptoms of the disease after his arrival, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. He was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 17 and transferred to an isolation room two days later.
Kariadi hospital’s medical and nursing director, Agoes Oerip Poerwoko, confirmed that the patient died on Sunday, but asserted that SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – was not the cause of the patient's death.
“The patient died not from the coronavirus, but due to severe breathing difficulties. The result of a laboratory test from the Health Ministry’s research and development center came out a day after the patient was buried, and it showed he tested negative for the coronavirus,” Agoes said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.
Most recently on Wednesday, Agoes said that the patient had died of bronchopneumonia and reiterated that he had tested negative for COVID-19.
“The patient tested negative for the coronavirus according to the observation of the Health Research and Development Agency [Balitbangkes] in Jakarta. Balitbangkes did the test,” he said.
Agoes said that the patient’s body was wrapped in plastic and then cremated, which was “normal procedure in infectious disease management”.
Fathur Nurcholis, a doctor who had treated the patient, said the patient had difficulty breathing and eventually succumbed to multiple organ failure.
Besides the recently deceased patient, Agoes said that the hospital had also treated two other patients suspected of COVID-19 infection, an Indonesian and a Japanese who had traveled to other countries. The two patients had been discharged after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2.
Kariadi hospital has treated at least 23 patients for suspected coronavirus infection since January. Four of the patients were nationals of China, Japan, and South Korea, all of which have localized outbreaks.
The city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China, is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak that emerged in December 2019, which has affected 41 countries to date.
“Of the 23 patients, 10 of them are patients under surveillance because [they] show clinical symptoms [of COVID-19], while the 13 others are under observation and have been allowed to go home,” said Agoes.
Separately, Kariadi hospital medical services head Nurdopo Baskoro said the hospital had just admitted a female patient on Monday who was being treated in an isolation room.
"[The patient] is a 25-year-old woman who came to the hospital in the afternoon complaining about having a fever, coughing and chills. She has been in close contact with foreigners from [South] Korea and China, but has no history of traveling abroad,” Nurdopo said.
As of Feb. 25, more than 80,400 people around the world have contracted the virus and more than 2,700 deaths have been linked to COVID-19.
Indonesia has reported zero confirmed cases to date, although at least nine Indonesian crewmen aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition, a Chinese national and a Japanese national were diagnosed with the disease upon their return from vacationing in Bali over the past two months, according to reports issued by the infectious disease centers in those countries. (syk)
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include the hospital's explanation for the patient's cause of death.