At least 282 healthcare workers nationwide have died of COVID-19 ever since the start of the outbreak in Indonesia in March, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) reported on Tuesday.
In a statement received by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, the IDI reported the deaths of 159 doctors, 114 nurses and nine dentists.
Of the deceased doctors, 84 were general practitioners and 73 were specialists, while two were residents.
IDI mitigation team head Adib Khumaidi saluted those who had died of the coronavirus while on duty, considering them the country’s true heroes.
“They are brave and strong in times of fear. They keep fighting against the virus every day, even putting their own life as well as their family’s on the line for that matter. Many of them have also lost their life because of that,” Adib said.
Adib also stated that the public needed to help decrease the risk of death among healthcare workers by obeying health protocols and providing workers with mental and moral support to help them get through the crisis.
“We also hope that the government will appreciate [the healthcare workers’] sacrifice by providing health insurance and ensuring their welfare, whether they are still healthy and working, hospitalized or have already passed away,” Adib said, adding that the government and the public could donate vitamins and supplements to healthcare workers as a form of support.
In September, the Health Ministry formed a team to investigate the high death rate of doctors in Indonesia due to COVID-19.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy had previously asked the IDI to be responsible for protecting all doctors.
“I ask the IDI to spearhead protections for the safety of its members. That is part of the association’s responsibility,” he said.
IDI chairman Daeng M. Faqih said the said team would find the root cause of the problem, as well as look for a solution to overcome the matter.
According to Daeng, the IDI had worked closely with the national COVID-19 task force and the Health Ministry to provide personal protective equipment and free swab tests for healthcare workers.
He said he would coordinate with both the task force and the ministry to rearrange working hours for healthcare workers to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.
“The longer the working hours, the more they will be exposed to the virus. Moreover, they will feel more tired too, which increases the risk of getting the virus,” Daeng said. (dpk)
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.