The Jakarta Post
The administration of Bekasi regency in West Java has cancelled a plan to use three-star hotels as self-isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients.
Following a fast increase in cases in the regency last month, the administration had designated 300 rooms at two hotels in Cikarang to be used as alternative accommodation for people confirmed to be SARS-CoV-2-positive if the existing facility was overloaded.
However, a decreasing number of active cases has prompted a change in the region’s strategy.
“We had planned [to rent the hotel rooms] in October, but seeing the latest decrease in active cases and close contacts, we have canceled [that plan],” Bekasi regency COVID-19 task force head Alamsyah said on Monday as quoted by antaranews.com.
He went on to explain that the number of active cases in the regency had gone down over the past two weeks, which saw the regency upgraded to the orange zone COVID-19 risk status from the red zone status it previously had.
Active cases are the number of confirmed cases minus recoveries and deaths. The figure represents the number of cases still considered to be infectious.
Meanwhile, in the government’s risk-mapping system, red zones are regions with a high risk of COVID-19 infection, orange zones represent medium risk, yellow zones are those with low risk and green zones have the lowest risk.
“We cancelled the hotel rooms [plan] because we managed to isolate those with COVID-19 at the [Health Ministry’s] health training center of the President University Jababeka guesthouse, which previously had been full due to a case spike from the [virus] industry cluster last month,” said Alamsyah.
He further said that bed occupancy at the two isolation facilities, which had a total of 105 beds, had decreased significantly. “Many patients have recovered and returned home.”
Despite the good trend, Bekasi Legislative Council (DPRD) member Rusdi Haryadi urged the local administration to remain cautious.
“The figures we now have fluctuate and are temporary. We may have low cases now, but it might be different tomorrow or next week. We must not be caught off guard,” he said, reminding the public to keep wearing masks, washing hands frequently and maintaining a distance from one another to curb the virus spread.
As of Monday, Bekasi regency has confirmed more than 4,800 COVID-19 cases, with over 4,500 recoveries and 77 fatalities.
Bekasi city has also announced a gradual decrease in new cases that allowed the local administration to no longer use The Green Hotel as a self-isolation facility for asymptomatic patients.
On Oct. 31, the last 11 patients at the hotel were relocated to the Bekasi Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium, which is used as a temporary hospital for the pandemic.
"The [use of] Green Hotel as a self-isolation facility for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients was [discontinued], as the average occupancy rate was below 20 percent," city spokesperson Sayekti Rubiah said on Monday as quoted by tribunnews.com. (nkn)
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.