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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: As hardest-hit province, Jakarta gets priority for health equipment

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 23, 2020   /   02:46 pm
COVID-19: As hardest-hit province, Jakarta gets priority for health equipment Medical personnel walk in front of flower signs that express support for staff of the Sulianti Saroso Infection Diseases Hospital in Jakarta, on Saturday. (Antara/Aditya Pradana Putra)

The capital city Jakarta, the hardest hit province in Indonesia, has received thousands of pieces of protective clothing from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to help ensure health workers' safety when handling patients with COVID-19.

The agency shipped 40,000 disposable protective coveralls early Monday morning to City Hall, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said.

The disposable coveralls include covers for the body and the shoes. Complete personal protective equipment also comprises, among other things, gloves, masks and goggles to guard health workers against various kinds of hazards.

"This equipment is very helpful for our health workers on the front lines because one of the challenges is to make sure they are not exposed [to the virus] and this equipment is very important," Anies told reporters at a daily press briefing at City Hall on Monday.

The protective clothing came as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises in Jakarta, prompting the central government to consider the capital the national epicenter of the outbreak. 

By Sunday, Indonesia had 514 confirmed cases, with 48 fatalities and 29 recoveries. Jakarta recorded 307 cases and 29 deaths.

The administration would immediately send the recently arrived protective coveralls to hospitals, clinics, labs and health community centers (puskesmas), especially healthcare facilities that had detected cases in their respective regions.

With the growing numbers of cases, health workers' needs for such personal protective equipment recently reached 1,000 pieces per day and it could go even higher as cases continue to rise, Jakarta Health Agency head Widyastuti said.

“This equipment is used for services at hospitals to treat patients, at the referred labs, in the ambulances carrying patients with COVID-19 and by our friends at health community centers who perform early detection or contact tracing in the field if there is a suspected positive case,” she said. (dfr)