The Jakarta Post
The North Jakarta administration is set to provide rapid tests for people in flood shelters, should floods hit the area in the near future.
North Jakarta Health Agency head Yudi Dimyati said that every person around the refugee shelter would be tested.
“Officers are strongly advised to maintain their distance from flood victims when taking them to shelters,” Yudi said as quoted by antaranews.com on Tuesday.
He also explained that his agency was performing early screening to minimize coronavirus transmission risk. Those who test positive for the disease will be taken immediately to a temporary COVID-19 hospital at Wisma Atlet Kemayoran in Central Jakarta.
Furthermore, staff and refugees alike are required to implement health protocols at all times, such as wearing a face mask, maintaining distance and washing hands.
Aside from preparing rapid tests, the government has also increased the number of shelters for flood victims to prevent large numbers of people in a single tent.
Yudi went on to say that the number of shelters would match a forecast number of flood victims.
Moreover, the administration has also made arrangements to ensure that each family in the shelters maintain sufficient distance to reduce coronavirus transmission risk.
“We already simulated the arrangement, and created booths to maintain distance between each family inside the shelter,” North Jakarta mayor Ali Maulana Hakim said, adding that the simulation consisted of three parts for preparation, disaster and post-disaster.
Ali also asserted that he was trying to prevent flood disasters from causing another disaster, namely a spike in COVID-19 cases, among the displaced people.
To support the government in flood mitigation, the Greater Jakarta administrations have created a program dubbed Community Units Against Floods, which is a collaboration between citizens and authorities for emergency responses during flooding.
Previously, the nation’s COVID-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito warned the public about the possibility of infection clusters at shelters for flood victims.
“We are calling on regional governments to be vigilant to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. One potential place where COVID-19 clusters could emerge is flood victim shelters,” Wiku said on Sept. 24.
He also noted the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the shelters to provide sufficient air circulation and sunlight access to protect people from common rainy season diseases such as dengue fever, diarrhea, leprosy, typhus and skin disease.
“All of these diseases could lower people’s immunity, causing them to become more susceptible to contracting COVID-19,” he 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.