The Jakarta Post
Two patients under surveillance for COVID-19 in Tasikmalaya, West Java, became an unusual spectacle for dozens of locals when they were transferred into isolation wards at the Soekardjo General Hospital on Friday morning.
Instead of staying away, curious locals without protective equipment, some merely covering their noses with their bare hands, deliberately went close to take photographs and videos of the patients with their mobile phones.
“This is a ‘corona’ patient. Look, they are being taken while wearing suits like that,” said one resident, as kompas.com observed.
Isolation wards for COVID-19 at the Soekardjo General Hospital are located right next to the emergency room, which is normally packed with relatives and friends visiting patients.
The visitors witnessed an unusual scene that day and apparently felt no worry about approaching the patients under surveillance. Videos of the patients being taken into the isolation wards quickly circulated on social media.
Tasikmalaya Health Agency head Uus Supangat said he regretted how the locals remained uninformed about the deadly coronavirus and what measures they should have taken personally to prevent getting infected.
“Even the medical staff wore complete personal protective equipment. This is a matter of education that we continue to optimize within the community,” Uus said. “We will keep disseminating information to the community.”
Uus admitted that the number of people suspected to have been infected by the coronavirus had increased significantly in Tasikmalaya. Within a day, the number of people under monitoring almost doubled to 41 on Friday from 22 on Thursday.
The Tasikmalaya crisis center for COVID-19 reported that out of the 41 people under surveillance in the city, two people had been declared to be patients under surveillance and eight people had tested negative. (syk)