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Indonesia hospitals reject Covid-19 patients

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CAPE TOWN — Patients critically ill with Covid-19 are unable to find hospital beds as Indonesia crosses the one-million case mark and medical staff struggle to keep up.

The Indonesian government announced 13 094 new daily coronavirus infections on Tuesday, taking the country’s total to 1 012 350, with 28 468 deaths.

According to The Guardian, in one instance a man died after being turned away from several hospitals, three of which are in Jakarta.

“It seems that the current overload or overcapacity situation is the worst during the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia,” Halik Malik, spokesperson for the Indonesian Doctors Association, told The Guardian.

He added that due to the increase in coronavirus cases, several regions’ patients had faced difficulties in accessing Covid-19 intensive care units and isolation rooms.

While the country has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections in South-east Asia, it has also kicked off one of the biggest vaccination campaigns globally using the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac.

Health workers and public service workers aged between 18 and 59 have been given priority for the vaccine, with the next phase to include the elderly.

“If the number of cases does not begin to fall over the next week, hospitals in Java and Bali would collapse under the pressure,” said Lia Gardenia Partakusuma, secretary-general of the Indonesian Hospital Association.

“Collapse means we will be in a condition where we can only treat the patients that are already in the hospital.

“This is not a fiction. Not a rumour. This has been happening in several hospitals,” she said.

Partakusuma added that there were strict anti-pandemic restrictions in place to limit physical contact and employees allowed to work at the office; however, restaurants and shopping centres remained open. – ANA