Security officers checks the clearance of an ambulance that brings Covid-19 patient to Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital Kemayoran in Central Jakarta on Friday. (SP Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Indonesia Expands Main Isolation Facility After Daily Covid-19 Cases Pass 4,000


SEPTEMBER 20, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia is expanding the capacity of its main isolation facility for Covid-19 patients in the capital Jakarta as the number of new cases kept breaking new highs in the past week. 

The Covid-19 Handling Task Force said in a statement on Sunday that Tower 4 at Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital Kemayoran in Central Jakarta will be ready for isolation of 1,546 people on Monday. That would bring the total capacity of Wisma Altet, which used to house foreign athletes during the 2018 Asian Games, to 9,897 people. 

Currently, 4,999 beds or 59 percent of the existing capacity had been used for isolating Covid-19 patients that showed no or mild symptoms, the Task Force said in the statement.

The facility is the largest of its kind in Indonesia and now houses asymptomatic patients who came from abroad and from Jakarta. Some of its temporary residents also came from Jakarta's surrounding cites. 

Indonesia reported 4,168 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, just three days after its previous record high and passing the 4,000 cases for the first time since the country.

Southeast Asia's most populous country now has a total of 240,687 cases, the most in the region. There were 112 deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday, bringing the number of total casualties to 9,448. 

Jakarta remained Indonesia's Covid-19 epicenter, reporting 988 new cases and ten deaths on Saturday. The capital now has 61,807 Covid-19 cases, already passing the city-state Singapore that has a similar number of population. 

West Java followed in a distant second with 470 new cases and 0 deaths. East Java came third with 379 cases and 20 deaths. Most of the province cases came from Jakarta's satellite cities: Bogor, Depok and Bekasi. 

Riau showed a worrying trend with the number of new cases rose to 303 on Saturday. The Sumatran province had seen the daily figure hover above 200 this week, four times higher than three weeks ago. 

Papua was also concerning. The easternmost province reported 205 new cases and five deaths. In comparison, the province's daily average never exceeded 45 cases in the past three weeks. 

Fortunately, Bali only reported 85 new cases on Saturday and seven deaths. The average daily cases in the tourist island have fallen by half to 74 this week from 149 a week ago.