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Jakarta Post

IDI urges better protection for medical workers as five more doctors die of COVID-19

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 12, 2020   /   05:14 pm
IDI urges better protection for medical workers as five more doctors die of COVID-19 Medical workers prepare to take swab samples of residents during mass testing held by state lender BNI in the South Tangerang Health Agency office in South Tangerang, Banten, on Aug. 30. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has confirmed the deaths of five more doctors due to COVID-19, bringing the total count to 114 while also urging the government to provide better protection to medical workers fighting in the frontline of the ongoing pandemic.

“Two days ago, 109 doctors [had died from COVID-19). Two more doctors died yesterday [Friday] and another three died today,” IDI mitigation team head Adib Khumaidi said on Saturday during a virtual discussion as reported by tribunnews.com.

He said that East Java recorded the highest doctor fatalities with 29, followed by North Sumatra with 21. As many as 55 doctors, or around 50 percent of the tally, were general practitioners and the remainder specialists, he added.

Adib explained that based on IDI’s investigation, not all the doctors had been infected in treatment or isolation rooms. He gave an example of an orthopedic doctor who was exposed to the respiratory disease while operating on a patient who was only later found to be COVID-19 positive.

Read also: COVID-19: Public urged to stop accusing medical workers of profiting from outbreak

IDI has coordinated with the National COVID-19 task force to raise protection issues for medical workers.

“Safety is really important because we don’t know when COVID-19 is going to end,” he said.

“I hope that we can build a commitment with the government because we [medical workers] want to be protected.”

IDI also confirmed that nine dentists have died from COVID-19 as of early September, in addition to 70 nurses, as reported by the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI).

Previously, IDI spokesperson Halik Malik said the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country has affected the well-being and performance of medical workers. A recent survey by the University of Indonesia’s (UI) School of Medicine also reveals that 82 percent of healthcare workers across the country are suffering from burnout.

On Friday, health authorities announced 3,737 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, putting the national tally at 210,940 with 8,544 fatalities and more than 150,000 recoveries. (mfp)