The Jakarta Post
The Health Ministry issued new guidelines for COVID-19 handling and prevention on Tuesday, revising a number of terms to be in line with World Health Organization (WHO) definitions.
The guidelines scrap the local terms “people under observation” (ODP) and “patients under surveillance” (PDP) in favor of “suspected” and “probable” cases, and also expand the definition of COVID-19 deaths "for surveillance purposes" to include the deaths of probable cases.
A suspected case is now defined as a patient with acute respiratory illness who has a history of travel to or residence in a location reporting community transmission during 14 days prior to symptom onset; who has been in contact with a confirmed or probable case; or who requires hospitalization with no alternative diagnosis.
A probable case, meanwhile, is defined as a suspected case with severe acute respiratory illness or who dies before being tested for COVID-19.
Since April, the WHO has defined a COVID-19 death as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID-19.
As of Tuesday, the official public COVID-19 death toll announced by the Health Ministry stands at 3,710, the highest in Southeast Asia.
According to data compiled by volunteer group Kawal COVID-19, however, over 8,000 ODPs and PDPs had died nationwide as of Monday.
Tempo Magazine also recently reported that an internal COVID-19 task force database showed 13,885 COVID-19-related deaths as of July 3.
The Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, said in his daily press briefing on Tuesday that the new definitions would be used for COVID-19 data announcements going forward.