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Jakarta Post

East Java prepares 120 more isolation wards to anticipate COVID-19 outbreak

  • Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Tue, March 17, 2020   /   07:42 pm
East Java prepares 120 more isolation wards to anticipate COVID-19 outbreak Residents queue to do corona tests at Corona Special Poly, Airlangga University Hospital (RSUA), Surabaya, East Java, Tuesday (03/17/2020). Corona Special Poly which was opened from 08.00-20.00 WIB was specifically to serve the public who wanted to conduct an examination related to the possibility of COVID-19 virus exposure. (Antara/Moch Asim)

The East Java administration has prepared 120 new isolation wards to add to the existing facilities in 44 referral hospitals in the province in anticipation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Twenty of the new isolation wards are in Soetomo Public Hospital and 100 others in the new building of the Menur Mental Hospital, both in the provincial capital of Surabaya, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said.

“This [the additional wards] is aimed at heartening the people so that they won't feel worried,” Khofifah told reporters on Monday.

East Java's task force for COVID-19 mitigation had formed a mobile team comprising 30 physicians with expertise in communicable diseases who were ready to give medical assistance for coronavirus-related cases in hospitals that lacked qualified medical workers, she said.

With the team's establishment, Khofifah said he hoped the 44 referral hospitals would be able to function better in handling COVID-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, Indonesia recorded 172 confirmed COVID-19 cases, five of which turned fatal. The cases were recorded in several provinces, including Jakarta, East Java, West Java, Central Java and Bali.

Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention director general Achmad Yurianto said on Tuesday the ministry found six confirmed cases reported by Airlangga University Hospital in Surabaya, East Java.

Read also: Regions close schools, cancel public events because of COVID-19

Khofifah said that as of Monday evening, at least 18 people in the region were under monitoring while six other people have been suspected of having been infected by the coronavirus.

Earlier on Sunday, Khofifah instructed school authorities to suspend activities for the next two weeks starting on Monday. The governor also ordered local administrations in the province to implement social distancing measures that included restrictions against mass gatherings.

The East Java administration previously announced that two of seven people who had been in contact with a COVID-19 patient who died at a Surakarta public hospital in Central Java last week had been sent to isolation wards in two different hospitals. 

The two people were the late patient’s wife, who was admitted to Mediun Soedono Public Hospital, and their son, who was admitted to Malang Saiful Anwar Public Hospital.

The sample tests of the mother and son came out negative for COVID-19, Khofifah said. (syk)