A soldier donates his blood plasma containing the Covid-19 antibody at Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Jakarta last week. (Antara Photo/Nova Wahyudi)

Jakarta's Hospital Beds Fill Up Fast With Covid-19 Patients


AUGUST 30, 2020

Jakarta. The Covid-19 patients in Jakarta have used seven in ten isolated hospital beds available for treating the disease in the capital, stoking up concern about how the city's healthcare system would cope with the number of new cases keep breaking records every week.

Jakarta has 4,456 hospital beds with 483 intensive care units (ICU) in 67 hospitals set aside for treating Covid-19 patients, data from the city administration showed. Still, with the city reporting close to 5,000 new cases each week, the beds have been filling up fast. 

"We always monitor bed utilization. It indeed has been increasing since last month," Widyastuti, the head of Jakarta health department, said on Saturday. 

"Almost 70 percent of our hospital beds [at Covid-19 referral hospitals] are occupied now," she said. The Covid-19 patients only fused 55 percent of the capacity last month, data from Jakarta city administration showed. 

Jakarta reported 861 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, its second-highest daily record, just eight cases fewer than the city's highest tally a day earlier, Health Ministry data showed. In the past week, the largest city in Indonesia ported 4,707 new cases, up 31 percent from the previous week. 

Jakarta's data showed that about 7.4 percent of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which caused the Covid-19 disease, would need hospital treatment. 

Widyastuti said the administration was working to increase the bed capacity and infrastructure at the Covid-19 referral hospital and recruits more medical workers.

"We also have to strengthen human resources by recruiting professionals to help our services. It's no use if we have all the equipment but no people to operate them," she said.

The administration continues to urge Jakarta residents to wear masks, maintain distance, and wash hands regularly. Last week, it started to enforce progressive fines for residents who do not wear a face mask in public.

The first-time offender must pay Rp 250,000 ($17) in fines or carry out 60 minutes of community service. The penalties would double and triple for the second- and the third-time offenders, respectively.  The fourth and subsequent violations will lead to Rp 1 million in fines or 240 minutes of community service. 

"We are not safe yet. We must be vigilant to rein in the spread," Widyastuti said.