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Jakarta Post

Indonesia lost 130 doctors, 92 nurses to COVID-19, medical association says

Indonesia lost 130 doctors, 92 nurses to COVID-19, medical association says Health workers wearing protective gear are about to pick up a COVID-19 patient for isolation at Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, West Java, on Friday. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
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Jakarta   ●   Mon, October 5, 2020 2020-10-05 12:52 221 e22cd4161040e111d73a5626c4925cda 1 National medical-workers,doctors,nurses,dentists,#ingatpesanibu,#ingatpesanibucucitangan,#ingatpesanibupakaimasker,ingatpesanibujagajarak,#jagajarakhindarikerumunan,pakai-masker,#cucitanganpakaisabun,COVID-19-in-Indonesia,jaga-jarak,#wearmask Free

More medical workers have lost their lives to the coronavirus as the number of cases continues to grow at an alarming rate in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) announced on Saturday that 130 doctors had died of COVID-19.

According to the IDI data, 67 of the fallen doctors were general practitioners, 61 were specialist doctors and two were residents. Nine of them were also professors.

Physician deaths were reported from IDI branches in 18 provinces and 61 regencies.

Dentists and nurses also lost their lives to the coronavirus.

The Indonesian Dentists Association (PDGI) has reported that nine dentists have died from the disease. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) has revealed that 92 nurses have lost their lives in the fight against the pandemic.

IDI mitigation team deputy head Ari Kusuma Januarto expressed his concerns over the increased mortality rate of medical workers.

“Although the government has created awareness about the importance of complying with health protocol, the number of health worker deaths continues to increase rapidly,” he said.  

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

He said that this phenomenon proved that the public was both ignorant to the health protocols and did not care about health workers’ safety.

Ari added that losing more health workers would create disadvantages to the country’s healthcare system.

Ari said Indonesia was among the countries with the lowest number of doctors, as one doctor had to serve around 3,000 people. Losing more health workers would disrupt the healthcare services in Indonesia, both for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

Sonny Harry B Harmadi, the national COVID-19 task force member heading the behavioral change division, raised a similar issue, noting that Indonesia had a limited number of doctors and health workers.

“If we don’t stop the transmission, the number of cases will continue to increase. With limited facilities, we’re going to face a [serious] problem,” he said on Friday.

That being said, the task force has embarked on an awareness program called the 3M Health Protocol, with 3M referring to menggunakan masker (mask-wearing), mencuci tangan (hand-washing) and menjaga jarak (social distancing). The program involves collaboration with the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN).

The protocols are considered to be effective at preventing person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.

Indonesia has seen a continuously rising number of confirmed cases since March. As of Sunday, the country recorded 303,498 cases with 228,453 recoveries and 11,151 deaths. (jes)