The national COVID-19 task force has said that the Health Ministry will add more hospital rooms to treat patients should Indonesia face a case surge of 100 percent.
“If the cases increase by 20 to 50 percent then [hospitals] would continue operating like at the moment,” task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
According to Wiku, hospitals are capable of accommodating patients if cases do not increase beyond 50 percent. However, should cases increase by 100 percent, the ministry would turn general care units into makeshift rooms for COVID-19 patients.
In this scenario, hospitals would cooperate with the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to establish emergency tents at their COVID-19 patient areas.
While reassuring the public that the government had done its best to control the spread of the virus, Wiku urged the public to fully comply with health protocols.
“The government has arranged it so that health care can still be accessed by the public under any situation,” Wiku said.
He also reminded the public to limit visits to public places to reduce the risk of transmission and the risk of death as a result of COVID-19.
“This finding should be able to motivate us all to make a wise choice by staying at home and avoiding crowds,” he said.
Even though it might be difficult at first, Wiku went on to say, he hoped that the public would eventually be aware that they could protect themselves and those surrounding them by limiting visits to public places.
For those with plans to go on vacation during the Christmas and New Year holiday, Wiku suggested staying within the confines of their hotels and going on virtual tours, instead of making physical visits to tourist destinations.
Data from the Health Ministry as of Tuesday showed that the bed occupancy rate in isolation wards and intensive care units for COVID-19 patients had reached 57.97 percent. West Java recorded the most occupied beds at 77 percent.
Bandung alone, for example, currently risks facing a shortage of beds with 88.6 percent of beds already occupied. The city has a total of 704 beds for COVID-19 patients spread across 27 hospitals in the provincial capital. (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.