Jakarta. The makeshift Covid-19 hospital occupying buildings that used to house the 2018 Asian Games athletes in Jakarta is in near completion and will start operating as soon as Monday, a minister said on Saturday.
The new facility will use four out of ten towers at the athletes’ village in Kemayoran with a combined capacity of more than 4,400 beds and can be expanded.
The government has warned that more than half a million people in the country are at risk of being infected by the Covid-19 virus if no serious measures are taken.
"The makeshift Covid-19 hospital is being prepared in a very short time -- around four days -- but I keep reminding my men that quality takes precedence and the facility must meet the health protocols because we want to get rid of this coronavirus outbreak,” Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in a statement.
Basuki said he himself had taken the coronavirus test and the result came back negative.
Earlier on Friday, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Tohir said the facility will use Tower 1, 3, 6 and 7 as makeshift shelters for patients, doctors, nurses and officials of the government task force on Covid-19.
Tower 1 will be dedicated to doctors and medical personnel across the country who take part in the handling of Covid-19 patients in the capital, the hardest hit by the disease with over 200 positive cases. The first 24 floors of the building will house the medical workers, with a capacity of 1,750 persons.
A similar capacity of Tower 3 will shelter personnel of the Covid-19 task force, who coordinates nationwide measures to deal with the outbreak. The task force is responsible for mass blood and swab testing, contact tracing, identification of positive cases, medical supplies procurement and other related jobs.
Tower 6 and 7 are fully dedicated to medical treatments and patients, Erick said.
“Tower 6 is designated exclusively for patient wards and has only two access doors that will be closely monitored,” he said. The tower has 1,750 beds occupying the first 24 floors.
At the heart of the facility is Tower 7, where the first three floors have been modified into emergency unit, intensive care unit and recovery rooms.
More patient rooms will occupy the next floor until the 24th which together are capable of accommodating 2,658 beds.
Erick said the works to prepare the makeshift hospital involved several ministries and related agencies.
“The makeshift hospital at the Asian Games village is a result from inter-ministerial works. The Public Works and Housing Ministry works on the constructions, the Health Ministry is tasked with providing doctors and medical experts who will be employed here, and the SOE Ministry collects corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for medical supplies procurement. Other ministries will also contribute,” Erick, who chaired the Asian Games’ steering committee back in 2018, said.
The SOE Ministry also recruited medical and non-medical volunteers in cooperation with the Human Capital Indonesia Forum (FHCI) to help the government combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
The volunteer registration has been opened since March 19. The selected volunteers will be announced later today, before they start working on Monday.
On Friday, the government said the number of positive cases had risen to 369 with 32 deaths. Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for the government handling of Covid-19 outbreak, said the number is very likely to grow in a much faster pace when results from mass tests came out these days.
He also said the number of population at risk is between 600,000 and 700,000 unless concrete measures are immediately taken to slow down the spread of the virus.
The Jakarta government imposed an emergency status on Friday, banning tourism centers from operating and restricting public transportation services until the next two weeks.