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Jakarta Post

Two patients under surveillance for COVID-19 die in South Sumatra

  • Yulia Savitri

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang, South Sumatra   /   Mon, March 23, 2020   /   04:22 pm
Two patients under surveillance for COVID-19 die in South Sumatra Medical team members relocate a patient to an isolation ward of the Dr. Kariadi General Hospital during a simulation to train for a COVID-19 outbreak in Semarang, Central Java on Jan. 30. (Antara/Aji Styawan)

Two patients under surveillance for COVID-19 at Mohammad Hoesin General Hospital in Palembang, South Sumatra, reportedly died on Monday morning while in isolation. 

The first patient to die was a 54-year-old Palembang man with a history of travel to Yogyakarta. He had been treated at the facility since March 19 and was declared dead at 5:45 a.m. local time. 

About 30 minutes later, a 53-year-old man from the neighboring city of Prabumulih also passed away. He had been referred from Siloam Hospital on March 20 and had previously traveled to Batam .

"They both had an underlying condition of diabetes," said the hospital's spokesperson for COVID-19 cases, Zen Ahmad.

He added that the hospital had yet to receive the COVID-19 test results of the two patients, although their fluid samples had been sent to the Health Ministry's Health Research and Development Agency three days prior to their deaths.

If the results come back positive, Zen further said, people who had contact with the deceased would be taken under surveillance too.

Read also: One-month-old baby tests positive for COVID-19 in Bandung

As of Monday, the two were among 13 patients who had been put under surveillance in the province. Six people had been declared negative from COVID-19 and the remaining five were still in treatment at the province's referral hospitals, Zen added.

South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru said the province has designated five referral hospitals to handle the COVID-19 outbreak. One of them is the Mohammad Hoesin hospital, which has isolation wards that can accommodate up to 24 patients.

The administration would prepare alternative facilities in every city or regency, he added. "We will transform an athletes village [in the Jakabaring sports complex] and the asrama haji [haj dormitory] complex into isolation facilities if needed." 

The central government had converted four apartment towers of the Kemayoran Athletes Village in Central Jakarta into an emergency hospital to handle COVID-19 patients. It started operation on Monday.

The athletes villages in Jakarta and Palembang were built for the 2018 Asian Games, which the two cities cohosted. (vny)