Indonesia's Covid-19 Task Force Head Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo. (B1 Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Employees Over 45 Years Old Should Stay Away From Work: Covid-19 Task Force


MAY 14, 2020

Jakarta. Companies should prevent employees over the age of 45 from coming back to work to prevent more deaths from Covid-19. The advice came from National Covid-19 Task Force Head Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo in an interview with Beritasatu late on Wednesday as some regional governments started to reopen businesses despite large-scale social restrictions

Data from the Task Force show around 40 percent of Covid-19 patients in the 46–59 age group died from the disease.

The mortality rate among patients aged 60 years or above shot up to 80 percent.

Severe cases of Covid-19 also involved patients with serious underlying illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, disease of the lung, asthma, kidney problems and cancer.

The capital Jakarta, which began imposing the large-scale social restriction (PSBB) early last month, still allows 11 sectors – healthcare, energy, food and beverages, communication, security, strategic industries, utilities, finance, logistics, construction and basic supplies – to remain open. 

"If companies employ a good strategy [against Covid-19], deaths from the disease would be even lower," Doni said.

Indonesia reported 21 new Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, taking the death toll to above 1,000.

Doni said companies should keep workers over 45 years old working from home while allowing younger staff to come to work as long as they follow strict health protocols.

"If necessary, they [empoyees under 45] could live in the workplace. The company could build barracks for them. They might have to do this if they want to keep their workers safe but want to reopen their business," Doni said.

The 57-year old, who is also the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), has been living in the agency's headquarters for two months now, reducing contact with his family to a minimum. 

He said workers who have been at the office or out on a job should take a shower first when they come home before interacting with their family members and keep a safe distance from them, Doni said. 

"In this war against Covid-19, our duty is to comply with health protocols so we don't transmit the virus to other people," he said.