Jakarta. The Indonesian Doctors Association, or IDI, confirmed on Sunday that its six members had died from Covid-19 amid a worrisome trend that the fatality rate of the highly contagious virus continues to beat recoveries in the archipelago.
The government announced on the same day that confirmed Covid-19 cases had jumped by 64 to 514. Ten more patients died on Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 48. Only 29 patients have fully recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
"Our thoughts are with families of the loved ones. May God bless them with strength to cope with this tragedy," IDI Chairman Daeng Faqih said in a statement.
The six doctors are identified as Hadio Ali in South Jakarta; Laurentius P. in East Jakarta; Djoko Judodjoko in Bogor, West Java; Adi Mirsaputra in Bekasi, West Java; Ucok Martin in Medan, North Sumatra and Toni Daniel Silitonga in Bandung, West Java.
The IDI said those doctors had been infected during their duties of treating Covid-19 patients.
“The government is deeply saddened to announce that a number of medical workers have fallen victims to the Covid-19 outbreak. We mourn their passing and we greatly honor their utmost dedication and contribution to the country,” Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for the government handling of Covid-19 outbreak, said in a daily video conference in Jakarta.
He called for other doctors and medical workers not to be drawn back by the news.
“Maintain your belief that our dedication is for a good cause and we will give everything to all the people,” Achmad said.
He repeated the important message to young people to strictly observe social distancing as they might be infected asymptomatically for having stronger immune system.
“They may carry the virus asymptomatically and transmit it to family members. Some family members can be more susceptible to the virus due to their age or pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or a damaged kidney,” Achmad said.
People with pneumonia-like symptoms are advised to immediately visit the nearest doctors for a recommendation if they need the swab tests.
“When symptoms are light, they don’t have to be admitted to hospitals. It’s enough to self-isolate: stay at home, avoid contacts with other family members, avoid sharing dishes, regularly check the medical condition and continue consulting with health professionals,” Achmad said, adding that hospital wards are prioritized for Covid-19 patients with moderate and severe symptoms.
“We must be very selective in utilizing hospital capacity. We cannot promptly put everyone in the hospital.”
He said the first batch of 150,000 rapid testing kits imported from China have arrived in Indonesia and will be distributed across the country. The government is buying at least 1 million Covid-19 testing kits.
During the conference, he presented statistics that 20 out of 34 provinces have been hit by the virus. Jakarta continued to top the list with 307 positive cases and 29 deaths.
Neighboring Banten was in second with 47 cases and three deaths, followed by West Java with 59 cases and nine deaths.
The overwhelming majority of the cases occurred on Java island, where all six provinces had 474 cases.