The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has called for comprehensive cooperation of both the government and the public in implementing health protocols, so that medical personnel and health workers can continue their work without putting their lives on the line.
“Not just the public, but we, too, want this pandemic to pass quickly. This situation will never be resolved if there is no full cooperation from the community as the front guard," IDI mitigation team deputy head Ari Kusuma Januarto said in a statement on Thursday.
He revealed that 136 doctors in the country have died of COVID-19 after four doctors succumbed to the respiratory disease this week.
“There are nine doctors who died of the disease during the first two weeks of October.” The deceased doctors include 71 general practitioners, 63 specialists and two resident physicians from 18 provinces and 66 cities and regencies, he said.
East Java has recorded the highest COVID-19 death toll among doctors at 32, followed by North Sumatra at 23, Jakarta at 19, West Java at 12 and Central Java at 9.
The remaining doctors died in South Sulawesi, Bali, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Aceh, Riau, East Kalimantan, the Riau Islands, Yogyakarta, West Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, Banten and West Papua.
Ari added that the death rate of Indonesian medical workers had become more alarming.
“Hundreds of medical workers throughout the country have died of COVID-19. This is a very critical situation in public health,” he said. “Every health worker has the right to feel safe while working. The government and the public must continue to cooperate to enforce health protocols,” Ari added.
Separately on Wednesday, an expert member of the national COVID-19 task force, Dewi Nur Aisyah, told kompas.com that discipline in mask-wearing, hand-washing and physical distancing was the only way the public could contribute to breaking the chain of COVID-19 transmission.”
Meanwhile, the government’s part is to maximize testing, tracing and treatment by ensuring capacity of hospitals and human resources.
The head of the health guidelines and protocols team of the IDI mitigation team, Eka Ginanjar, said many people still seemed half-hearted in complying with health protocols, for example by putting a mask under the chin, gathering without wearing a mask, rarely washing their hands, neglecting to change their clothes after activities outside the home and more.
"Right now, people who are infected with COVID-19 but have no or only mild symptoms [and] have never been tested for COVID-19 are carrying out activities outside the home, ignoring health protocol and passing the virus on to other susceptible people,” Eka said.
Eka added that the virus had spread rapidly throughout the world, including Indonesia, and had taken many lives quickly.
“Please note that, although most people are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, the virus cannot fly on its own, but humans carry it everywhere. And until an effective and safe vaccine is found, there is no better prevention than complying with health protocol – for your own safety, and for that of those around you, the people you care about, your relatives, coworkers and society." (aly)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.