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Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s real virus death toll may be 3 times reported figure: Epidemiologist

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 26, 2020   /   07:30 am
Indonesia’s real virus death toll may be 3 times reported figure: Epidemiologist Family members watch from afar as the body of a COVID-19 victim is buried at Pondok Ranggon cemetery in East Jakarta on Sept. 21. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The actual COVID-19 death toll in Indonesia could be three times the reported figure, which reached 10,105 on Thursday.

Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Griffith University Australia, said that Indonesia had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths of any ASEAN country and that that the nation placed third in COVID-19 deaths among Asian countries. 

According to Dicky, the death toll is a valid indicator of COVID-19 management in certain countries and regions. 

But he said Indonesia’s actual death toll could be three times the reported number.

Read also: 160 deaths in one day: Indonesia sets bleak virus record

“Indonesia should refer to the WHO [World Health Organization] definition of a COVID-19 death and should implement it in the country for our own sake,” Dicky said, as quoted by kompas.com on Friday.

According to the WHO, a COVID-19 death is defined for monitoring purposes 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, for example, trauma. There should be no period of complete recovery from COVID-19 between the illness and death. A death due to COVID-19 may not be attributed to another disease, such as cancer, and should be counted independently of preexisting conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19. 

Dicky said Indonesia’s more than 10,000 deaths were ones those that were confirmed.

“Meanwhile, we do not count [the deaths of people with] probable or suspected statuses. If we count them all, we might see three times as many,” he added. (dpk)