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Jakarta Post

Indonesia reports second COVID-19 death in Surakarta

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java   /   Fri, March 13, 2020   /   02:32 pm
Indonesia reports second COVID-19 death in Surakarta Medical staff leaves a special isolation room for infectious disease patients at Dr. Moewardi General Hospital, Surakarta, Central Java, on Jan. 27. (Antara/Mohammad Ayudha)

A top official reported on Friday that a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient had died in Surakarta, Central Java. It was the second COVID-19 death in the country.

"The result had come back, he had tested positive [for COVID-19]," Achmad Yurianto of the Health Ministry's Disease Control and Prevention Directorate General,  told on Friday.

The Jakarta Post tried to confirm the news with Yurianto on Friday but he had yet to respond to questions at the time of writing.

Yurianto said the Surakarta Health Agency was tracking the deceased’s travel history and close contacts.

Eko Haryanti, the legal and public relations head at Dr. Moewardi Regional General Hospital, affirmed that the individual who died on Wednesday, previously considered a suspected case, had tested positive for COVID-19.

She stressed, however, that this was a general statement, as the health ministry held jurisdiction over official statements.
"We have also not received any official information from the ministry," Haryanti said on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, the hospital reported that a COVID-19 suspected patient had died at the hospital.

Harsini, a pulmonologist at the hospital, said the patient was admitted to the hospital on Sunday along with one other suspected COVID-19 case.

Both suspects, each aged 59 and 60 year old, did not have any recent travel history outside the country, although they did visit Bogor, West Java from Feb. 25-28.

They complained of a cough and fever after returning from Bogor. The hospital had taken samples from the patient's nose and throat to be tested for coronavirus, however one of the patients died before the results had come back.

"The hospital has not determined the patient's the exact cause of death but there is a possibility that the patient died due to coronavirus infection," she told the Post on Thursday.

Harsini said the deceased had a pre-existing medical condition.

"The COVID-19 suspect who passed away had diabetes. We tracked the suspects' close contacts," she said.

Dr. Moewardi General Hospital legal and public relations head Eko Haryanti told the Post that the deceased had experienced respiratory failure upon arrival at the hospital.

"After returning from Bogor they started showing cold-like symptoms like coughing and sneezing. When the deceased was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening, he had already experienced respiratory failure. We’ve handed all of the COVID-19 suspects’ medical history to the Health Ministry," Eko said.

Harsini explained that the hospital treated the deceased's body in accordance with the established protocol to contain the H5N1 virus, which is a known cause for bird flu or avian influenza.

"We treated the body like a patient of bird flu. We put him in plastic body bag and asked [family members] not to open it during the burial, so he will be buried in it," Harsini told the Post on Thursday. (nal)