The Jakarta Post
The government has made strides in expanding hospital capacity and improving treatment standards for COVID-19 patients, the COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Committee said on Thursday.
“We have taken various strategic steps to increase the capacity of specimen testing, increase hospital beds and isolation rooms, increase the standardization of case handling and supply of medicines and accelerate the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine,” committee head Erick Thohir, who is also the state-owned enterprises minister, said on Thursday.
The efforts had seen positive results, Erick claimed, as the daily examination of specimens had reached 38,181 as of Wednesday, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, with the ratio of patients having recovered reaching 73 percent.
He said that, to improve the recovery rate, the government would ensure the availability of isolation facilities for patients with mild symptoms, including the provisional Wisma Atlet hospital in Jakarta and two- and three-star hotels in other regions.
“This will ease the burden on hospitals as well as on medical personnel, so that they are not overwhelmed and exhausted. And, what is also important is to limit virus transmission from patients without symptoms,” added Erick.
Erick said his committee had been coordinating with state-owned hospitals to encourage standardization of clinical management in treating COVID-19 patients.
“This standardization is important so that doctors in remote areas can follow standardized medical procedures and have a reference for [treating] patients with mild, moderate or severe symptoms.”
In addition, Erick said, the committee was encouraging domestic pharmaceutical companies to provide medical devices and essential medicines.
Two Indonesian pharmaceutical companies, Indofarma and Kimia Farma, were currently working to produce antiviral drugs, which Indonesia had been importing from other countries, he added.
The government has been stepping up efforts to secure vaccines through bilateral and multilateral channels. Erick said that, in addition to collaboration with Sinovac and G42, as well as partnerships with Genexine, CanSino and AstraZeneca, the government was talking with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Novafax.
“Coupled with the cooperation with UNICEF within the COVAX facility to guarantee the availability and delivery of vaccines, our efforts to expedite the availability of vaccines are on the right track,” he said.
Erick pleaded for collective action by citizens to help prevent further transmission by strictly adhering to health protocol.