Jakarta. Government data reveal on Monday that hospital capacity in seven provinces has reached a critical level amid surging coronavirus cases.
The hospital bed occupancy rate in those provinces has passed 75 percent recently and it could reach capacity after the year-end holiday season when newly transmissions are predicted to soar.
The seven provinces include Banten, Jakarta, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Kalimantan, East Java and Central Java where new cases have been surging in recent weeks.
“Hospital capacity in these provinces is already in the ‘red zone’, meaning that another small increase in new patients will put them in a big trouble,” Abdul Kadir, the director general of public health service with the Health Ministry, said in a video conference.
According to the ministry’s data, Banten in the western tip of Java Island has reported an 85 percent hospital occupancy rate on Monday. Earlier this month, Banten overtook Bali to become the tenth province with the most cases.
In Jakarta, the hardest hit by the virus, the hospital bed occupancy rate has climbed to 84 percent.
Covid hospitalization is also on the rise in other hotspots like West Java with 83 percent bed occupancy rate, Yogyakarta (82 percent), Central Kalimantan (79 percent), East Java (77 percent) and Central Java (76 percent).
Abdul said the ministry has issued a directive to hospital management in worst-hit areas stating that they can turn down hospitalization request from Covid patients with mild symptoms or asymptomatic ones. Patients in this category are encouraged to self isolate outside hospitals.
There have been a total of 710,219 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indonesia since the outbreak began, with daily cases surging at the fastest speed in the last few weeks.
The country has been averaging 6,441 cases since Dec. 1, in comparison to the previous highest monthly average of around 4,300 recorded in November.
Jakarta, East Java and West Java, the top three among worst-affected provinces, have seen resurgence in newly cases since late last month.
Jakarta averages 1,455 cases this month to take its total to 177,604.
East Java has added 19,649 coronavirus cases month to date, more than twice the total number it recorded in November, for a total of 81,532.
West Java is catching up by adding 27,476 cases since the beginning of the month to bring its tally to 79,993.
Central Java is ranked fourth with a total of 78,770 cases, about 22,800 more cases from its figure in late November.
Banten and Yogyakarta, two other provinces on the country’s most crowded island of Java, have been emerging fast as new hotspots this month.
Banten has overtaken two other provinces to join the top ten provinces with the most cases.
Daily cases in Yogyakarta have topped 200 in recent weeks and it became the 15th province to have surpassed 10,000 cases overall earlier this month.
Banten and Yogyakarta outpace other provinces who have recorded more cases in the top ten, including Riau, West Sumatra and North Sumatra.
An additional 215 Covid patients have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 21,452.
It’s for the fifth time since the outbreak that the daily death toll has topped 200.
The virus has killed more than 4,500 people in the country in the 28-day period, already breaking the record for the highest number of Covid deaths in a month.
East Java leads the national tally with 5,637 Covid deaths, but it’s Central Java that has been reporting the highest death toll this month.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Central Java surpassed that of Jakarta last weekend. Central Java recorded 84 more deaths on Monday to take its total death toll to 3,331, against Jakarta’s 3,210.