President Joko Widodo inspects ICU beds at the makeshift hospital in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on March 23. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak)

Jakarta’s Makeshift Covid-19 Hospital Nears Limit of Capacity


MAY 22, 2020

Jakarta. The surge in confirmed cases of coronavirus during the last couple of weeks has overloaded the makeshift hospital at the athletes’ village compound in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

The hospital said on Thursday the number of patients kept increasing in recent days to more than 1,000 currently.

“The trend is by no means moving downward. From what we see in our charts, the number of patients has been growing from 500 to 800 to 900 and to more than 1,000 at present,” Dr. Stefanus Donny, deputy coordinator of the makeshift hospital, said in a video conference.

“There are patients from outside Jakarta as well. Some have come here on own will, some have been transferred here from other hospitals due to their overload,” he added.

If the trend continues, the makeshift hospital will soon reach its limit, but a plan to scale up capacity is underway, he said.

The government is renovating another tower in the 2018 Asian Games athletes’ shelters into a makeshift hospital, in addition to two towers that already have received patients, he said.

“The renovation works have been 98 percent completed, meaning that we only need to clean and fill it with medical equipment,” Stefanus said.

Since the makeshift hospital started operating on March 23, it has treated more than 3,700 patients. The government designated the facility for patients with mild symptoms of the disease and those who cannot self-isolate at home for some reasons.

Earlier in the day, the National Covid-19 Task Force reported a record 973 new confirmed cases of coronavirus -- 40.4 percent higher than earlier record in the previous day.

The latest figure brought the total number of coronavirus cases to 20,162. It took 60 days for Indonesia to reach a grim milestone of 10,000 cases, but only 21 days later the number of nationwide cases has surpassed 20,000.

Third Phase of Restriction

Jakarta, the epicenter of the Indonesian outbreak, begins its third phase of the so-called large-scale social restriction on Friday.

The capital city first imposed a two-week restriction on April 10, and then decided to extend for another four weeks.

In the course of the 28-day period, the number of Covid-19 cases has increased by 2,714, or 97 cases per day. Overall, Jakarta has 6,301 cases, according to task force data.

The epicenter is gradually moving to East Java, where daily cases began to increase by a three-digit figure.

The province had 502 new confirmed cases on Thursday, or 51.6 percent of the nationwide figure. Not even Jakarta has ever reported such a staggering amount of daily cases. Jakarta's highest single-day rise was 236 on April 9.

East Java is the second most-affected province with 2,998 cases, but experts said the number could double in two weeks if the current rate continues.