The Jakarta Post
Bandar Lampung, the capital of Lampung, faces a shortage of hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients as the city has seen a fast rise in confirmed cases.
As of Wednesday, Bandar Lampung has recorded 1,200 cases, which account for 49.07 percent of the province’s cumulative 2,445 cases. Bandar Lampung has been designated as a red zone, or an area with a high risk of COVID-19 contagion.
This has seen occupancy at Bandar Lampung’s 10 COVID-19 referral hospitals rise, with seven of them close to being full. Only eight of 194 beds are available at these seven hospitals combined.
On Wednesday alone, the city saw 36 new cases, which contributed to the province’s 95 new cases reported that day. The previous day, Lampung booked 99 new cases.
Bandar Lampung Health Agency head Edwin Rusli said he would raise the capacity of isolation facilities at several COVID-19 referral hospitals.
“We’ve asked hospitals to add isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients,” he said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.id. Nevertheless, Edwin said that he had not yet decided on the exact figures of the additional beds needed, as his team was still assessing the situation.
In the meantime, the Bandar Lampung COVID-19 handling team is about to work with a new referral center, Budi Medika Hospital, to help address the bed shortage. As an alternative, the city administration also plans to utilize a haj guesthouse as an isolation facility to accommodate coronavirus-positive patients.
Edwin expressed confidence that, with those arrangements, no COVID-19 patient would be rejected for treatment at hospitals. Thus far, referral hospitals only accept patients with symptoms.
Lampung saw a significant increase in confirmed cases early this month as compared to last month. Prior to extended holidays in late October, the province saw between 20 and 50 cases per day.
Meanwhile in Pringsewu regency, a healthcare worker at a community health center (Puskesmas) reportedly contracted the virus, forcing the center to stop providing services from Wednesday to Friday.
The spokesperson of Pringsewu’s COVID-19 team, Nofli Yurni, said the worker, identified as RI, had been declared COVID-19 positive after taking a swab test on Monday. The team was tracing contacts of the worker.
As of Sunday, Lampung has one red zone (Bandar Lampung); nine orange zones, or medium-risk areas, (Central Lampung, Tulang Bawang, Tanggamus, Pringsewu, Metro, South Lampung, North Lampung, East Lampung, Pesawaran); and five yellow zones, or low-risk areas (West Lampung, West Tulang Bawang, Way Kanan, Mesuji, West Pesisir), according to national COVID-19 task force data. (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.