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Jakarta Post

[UPDATED] COVID-19 patient, a doctor who traveled to Italy, dies in Medan

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   02:04 pm
[UPDATED] COVID-19 patient, a doctor who traveled to Italy, dies in Medan A medical worker enters an isolation room in Adam Malik General Hospital (RSUP) Medan, North Sumatra, on March 4. (Antara/Septianda Perdana)

A medical doctor who had been under surveillance and tested positive for COVID-19 at Adam Malik General Hospital in Medan, North Sumatra died on Tuesday night.

Authorities reported the doctor had traveled to Jerusalem and Italy before his death but they did not divulge the timeline of his travel history. His death was the first related to COVID-19 in North Sumatra.

The head of the North Sumatra Health Agency, Alwi Mujahi Hasibuan, said the patient died at 8:45 p.m. in the hospital. He said the patient had gone to Jerusalem and Italy with several people.

Alwi said the patient was a medical doctor. “He just got back from Jerusalem and visited Italy afterwards. He went with a group of people and we’re tracing them,” Alwi said on Wednesday. Adam Malik hospital confirmed later that he was tested positive and among 19 people who died of COVID-19 nationwide.

As of Tuesday, the hospital had eight patients under COVID-19 surveillance in isolation rooms, including the doctor who just died.

The hospital’s coordinator for COVID-19, Ade Rahmaini, said the isolation rooms in the hospital were already full. She said the hospital would refer new patients to other hospitals.

Earlier, the North Sumatra administration reported it was tracking about 350 residents of the province who attended a mass religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where dozens of people from several countries had contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Meanwhile, in Malang, East Java, the administration reported that two patients under COVID-19 surveillance had died. 

However, the director of Malang Saiful Anwar Public Hospital, Kohar Hari Santoso, said the tests done on them for the coronavirus had come back negative.

"It's true they had lung problems but the cause of their death was not the coronavirus but another type of virus," Kohar told reporters after meeting East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa in Surabaya on Tuesday.

Kohar, however, said the two patients had met with foreigners several days before being admitted to the hospital.

Asip A. Hasani contributed to this story from Surabaya, East Java

Editor's note: The status of the patient has been updated from suspect to confirmed.