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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 deaths redefinition prompts pushback

  • Ardila Syakriah and Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie


Jakarta   /   Sat, September 26 2020   /  01:00 am
Grave times: Workers dig graves while others place the body of a COVID-19 victim in a burial plot at Pondok Rangon Cemetery in East Java on Monday. As of Tuesday, the government has recorded 102,051 cases of COVID-19, 60,538 recoveries and 4,901 deaths.(JP/P.J. Leo)

Indonesia’s coronavirus response has once again become clouded by confusion after the government appeared to attempt to rework the definition of COVID-19 deaths, evoking criticism that it was focusing on anything but the most essential efforts to contain the virus.   East Java Governor Khofifah Indah Parawansa has reportedly told the Health Ministry that deaths among patients with comorbidity factors should be categorized differently from the deaths of patients without preexisting conditions, which would affect the death toll.   Critics lashed out when an expert staffer on health economy, M. Subuh, one of the advisors to Health Minister Terawan Putranto, visited the province on behalf of the minister and appeared to back Khofifah’s request.   “[In order to get] a decline in the number of deaths, [we] must intervene by providing the corre...