The Jakarta Post
The Cirebon Health Agency had ordered nine drug stores, clinics and medical supply stores belonging to the Pasuketan group to suspend operations after 19 of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
The stores were instructed to close on Tuesday through a notice signed by Cirebon Health Agency head Edy Sugiarto and delivered to Pasuketan group owners Benyamin Setiabudi and Juanita Sulistyowati.
Edy said the first five employees who had tested positive for COVID-19 had already been self-isolating when another dozen reportedly fell ill.
“There were 19 [infected employees] yesterday [Monday] and today, the number has gone up to 24. Thirty people have yet to receive their results,” he said.
The drug stores, clinics and medical supply stores are located across Cirebon and have been identified as Pasuketan Pharmacy, Pasuketan Setiabudi Pharmacy, Pasuketan Gunungsari Pharmacy, Pasuketan Perum Pharmacy, CV Camella Medical Supply, Camella Medical Supply, Camella Gustavindo Medical Supply, PBF Camella Gustavindo and Camella Clinic.
Edy added that the employees had to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. If the test results come out negative, the local administration would allow the group to resume operating.
“Please do not hesitate to visit the health community center or other health facilities because we will accommodate you. Feel free to seek help at the nearest [medical] facility,” he said, adding that the employees had not shown any COVID-19 symptoms.
As of November, Cirebon has reported 680 COVID-19 cases with 41 death cases. As many as 266 patients are still undergoing treatment in hospitals or self-isolating, while 373 patients have recovered.
Edy acknowledged that his agency was overwhelmed by the contact-tracing process as it was short-staffed with only 24 surveillance officers on hand.
“Ideally, we need at least 28 to 30 staff members. We currently have five vacant positions, which has forced doctors to participate in the tracing process as well,” he said.
According to Edy, the average tracing ratio from a confirmed patient in Cirebon has reached 25 to 30 people.
“But we have to keep working, even though we have worked our fingers to the bone, but we will gladly welcome additional help.”
Local laboratories and hospitals that conduct PCR tests have yet to reveal the remaining 30 Pasuketan group employees’ test results, even though the report is crucial for immediate contact tracing, he added. (adp/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.