The Jakarta Post
To anticipate a rising COVID-19 cases tally, the Jakarta Health Agency is planning to add more COVID-19 referral hospitals in the capital city.
“Several hospitals will be turned into COVID-19 referral hospitals later,” the agency’s disease control and prevention unit head, Dwi Oktavia, said as quoted by kompas.com on Saturday.
She went on to say that the selected hospitals would have to make several preparations beforehand, such as designing a zoning system to separate COVID-19 patients from other patients.
“The hospitals have to arrange a flow system for both the medical personnel as well as the patients. There needs to be another facility for COVID-19 patients to separate them from the regular ones,” Dwi said.
Aside from preparing new facilities, the selected hospitals also have to provide health workers specialized in providing care for COVID-19 patients. Dwi emphasized that medical personnel who were appointed to treat infected patients were not allowed to treat other patients.
As of now, there are 98 COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta, 90 of which were appointed by the governor through a gubernatorial decree, eight of which were selected by the Health Ministry.
Dwi explained that the aforementioned referral hospitals had already added new beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients. As of Friday, there were 6,984 available beds in COVID-19 hospitals across the capital city, 321 of which were recent additions.
The agency previously predicted that Jakarta would run out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in December as the cases kept increasing at a rapid pace.
To prevent this happening, Jakarta Health Agency head Widyastuti had promised to increase bed capacity, as well as the number of medical workers to maximize the city’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
The Jakarta administration has also recruited over 1,000 health workers from other provinces in Java, Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara and Papua, consisting of pulmonologists, internists, radiographers and nurses.
The new recruits have been selected from a total of 4,859 applicants, and assigned to a number of health facilities across Jakarta.
Should Indonesia face a major spike in COVID-19 cases, the Health Ministry also plans to add more hospital rooms for infected patients.
If the cases increase by 20 to 50 percent then [hospitals] will continue operating as at present,” task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said on Dec. 3.
According to Wiku, hospitals are capable of accommodating patients if the cases do not increase beyond 50 percent. However, should the cases increase by 100 percent, the ministry would turn general care units into makeshift rooms for COVID-19 patients. (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.