The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has urged people to increase their adherence to health protocols as the number of doctors who have died from COVID-19 has increased to 171.
IDI mitigation team chief Adib Khumaidi said the rising number of doctor fatalities showed that the public was still ignoring the advised COVID-19 prevention measures, including wearing masks, washing hands regularly and physical distancing.
“We understand that there are economic needs being considered. However, as the front liners in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask the public to be more disciplined in following health protocols in their daily activities,” Adib said in a statement on Friday.
Adib said public ignorance would not only prolong the health crisis but also create a long-term negative effect on the economy, which observers said was already on the brink of recession.
“Indonesia has not even reached the peak of the pandemic’s first wave due to the massive indiscipline [in implementing] health protocols. If this continues, Indonesia will become the COVID-19 epicenter for the world."
According to the IDI’s data, 62 out of the 117 Indonesian doctors who died from the coronavirus were general practitioners, 53 were specialists, while the remaining two were hospital residents.
East Java recorded the highest COVID-19 doctor fatalities with 30, followed by North Sumatra with 21, Jakarta (16), West Java (11) and Central Java (8).
IDI mitigation team’s protocol unit head, Eka Ginanjar, claimed that Indonesia had recorded the highest number of fatalities among doctors and the general public compared to other Asian countries.
Indonesia logged 9,222 total deaths from COVID-19 as of Thursday, nearly doubled the 4,785 fatalities recorded in the Philippines, though far behind 84,404 coronavirus-linked deaths in India, according to worldometer.info.