Indonesia has hit a high number of COVID-19 fatalities. Among the dead were those on the front lines, including two hospital directors and 12 doctors according to the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI).
Yesterday, Health Ministry spokesman Achmad Yurianto said that 191 people had died of the virus since March 3, and 2,092 have tested Covid-19 positive, and the concern is – the number is on the rise.
According to Aljazeera report, one of those doctors who died was Ucok Martin from Medan, who was a pulmonary doctor. It is unclear where he contracted COVID-19 as he had just returned from a trip to Jerusalem which connected through Malaysia, but had gone back to work at Adam Malik Public Hospital before being taken ill.
“He had an x-ray initially which was clear,” a close friend of him told the media.
“When they x-rayed him again a few days later, the entire x-ray was white. His lungs had been overtaken by the virus. It was not fair. He saved so many people with lung conditions and that’s what killed him.”
Concerns have been raised about the safety of front liners in Indonesia, where there is a chronic lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Reports said some medical staff are having to improvise with things like plastic raincoats and bin bags.
“Indonesia isn’t serious about taking transparent and effective steps to handle this pandemic,” said Usman Hamid, head of Amnesty Indonesia, as quoted by Aljazeera.
“If this is allowed to continue, the number of deaths of patients and medical staff will continue to rise. This could be a humanitarian crisis, especially for the healthcare sector.”
Indonesia has ordered all positive coronavirus victims, including Muslims and Christians, to be buried immediately after they die, and the bodies should be wrapped in three layers of plastic sheeting and then encased in a plastic body bag.
Families are not allowed to see their loved ones or open the body bags at any time before burial.