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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: With no intervention, Jakarta predicted to run out of hospital beds by December

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 10, 2020   /   12:01 pm
COVID-19: With no intervention, Jakarta predicted to run out of hospital beds by December Medical workers arrange hospital beds at a COVID-19 hospital in the Kemayoran Athlete Village apartment complex in Jakarta on March 23. The emergency hospital can accommodate up to 3,000 patients. (Antara/Kompas/Heru Sri Kumoro/Pool)

The Jakarta Health Agency has predicted that the capital city will run out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients by December if cases continue to increase at the current pace and if no attempts are made increase hospital capacity. 

"Our existing hospital bed capacity will not be enough [to accommodate COVID-19 patients by December] if no interventions are made," the agency's head Widyastuti said on Wednesday. 

The agency, therefore, will intensify efforts to increase bed capacity and the number of medical workers for the COVID-19 response in the capital, Widyastuti added as reported by kompas.com.

The Jakarta administration recently recruited some 1,174 health workers, most of whom came from other provinces in Java, Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara and Papua. The workers – comprising pulmonologists, internists, radiographers and nurses, among others – were selected from a total of 4,859 applicants. 

They will be deployed at number of health facilities spread across Jakarta, Widyastuti explained.

Read also: Jakarta gears up for possible collapse of healthcare system

Jakarta, the country's epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has so far recorded 49,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is nearly a quarter of Indonesia's total tally of 203,342 cases. On Wednesday alone, it saw a daily increase of 1,004 positive cases. 

Jakarta Health Agency data previously showed that daily isolation bed occupancy rates in the city's 67 referral hospital began to gradually increase to around 50 percent after July 20. 

University of Indonesia epidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko said separately that increasing the number of beds was not the solution, insisting that eliminating sources of transmission was actually the key.

Jakarta, which started the implementation of strict large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in April to contain the virus spread, decided to ease the restrictions in June to restore the economy.

The relaxation of curbs has been blamed for the city's soaring case numbers in the past few weeks, with the emergence of dozens of new COVID-19 transmission clusters.  

The Jakarta administration decided on Wednesday to reimpose stricter PSBB measures starting Monday, allowing only 11 essential sectors to operate while other businesses and offices will have to reimplement work-from-home policies. (vny)