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Jakarta Post

Patient in Cianjur did not die from COVID-19: Health Ministry

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 3, 2020   /   03:09 pm
Patient in Cianjur did not die from COVID-19: Health Ministry A resident of Banyuasin regency, South Sumatra, is under isolation treatment in the quarantine room of Mohammad Hosein General Hospital (RSMH) in the provincial capital of Palembang for showing symptoms of pneumonia on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Antara/Nova Wahyudi)

A patient who died at Dr. Hafiz General Hospital in Cianjur, West Java, on Tuesday did not die from the novel coronavirus disease, a Health Ministry official has said.

The patient, identified as a 50-year-old male who works as an employee in a state-owned enterprise, had been treated in the hospital’s isolation room since Sunday for showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry's disease control and prevention directorate general secretary, Achmad Yurianto, denied that the patient died from the viral disease.

“The patient in Cianjur is among those observed as negative [for the coronavirus]. Therefore, he died not because of COVID-19,” Achmad told journalists at the State Palace on Tuesday.

When asked about the patient’s actual cause of death, Achmad said that his office “would ask to the hospital first”.

Read also: Death of isolation patient 'not COVID-19', says Indonesian hospital

Cianjur acting regent Herman Suherman confirmed on Monday that Dr. Hafiz General Hospital in Cianjur had been treating a patient in its isolation room.

“He is actually not a resident of Cianjur, but he was visiting his relatives. He came from Bekasi [also in West Java],” Herman told journalists after visiting the patient on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.

He said the patient traveled to Malaysia from Feb. 14 to 17. According to data compiled by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering on Tuesday, there are at least 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia, of which 18 have recovered.

“He was healthy when he arrived home. However, he caught a fever and was coughing on Feb. 20. He was admitted to a hospital in Bekasi from Feb. 22 to 26,” Herman said. The patient, however, left the hospital early to go to Cianjur on Feb. 29.

“He went to Cianjur for a vacation to get healthy as well as to seek a traditional medical practitioner,” the regent explained.

Read also: Malaysia maintains tourism target, bets on locals and non-Chinese visitors

During his stay at his relatives’ house, the patient’s health dropped significantly. He was then rushed to the hospital on March 1 to get treated. The regent said the patient complained of shortness of breath as well as pain in his lungs and heart.

The regent initially said that the patient’s health was improving. However, the patient died on Tuesday early morning.

State-owned telecommunications company Telkom confirmed that the patient was one of its employees in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“His medical record within the company shows that the employee has a history of inflammation in his respiratory airways as well as the common cold,” Telkom vice president for corporate communications Arif Prabowo said in the statement.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday that two Indonesians tested positive for COVID-19, the first two confirmed cases of the disease in the country. The two patients, a 64-year-old and her 31-year-old daughter, had been in contact with a Japanese citizen who tested positive in Malaysia on Feb. 27 after visiting Indonesia in mid-February. (gis)