Hospitals Are Overflowing as Second COVID-19 Wave Hits Indonesia, Yet to Reach Its Peak
Indonesian COVID-19 patients unable to get care until others die as hospitals exceed capacity and face resource shortages, warns Project HOPE’s Executive Director of Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia (July 8, 2021) — Indonesia’s COVID-19 crisis is worsening across many cities and districts on the island of Java as hospitals face resource shortages such as available hospital beds, PPE, oxygen, and even medical attention as health care workers fall ill themselves. Newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are setting record highs day after day, with harrowing accounts of patients dying before they even get a chance to pass through hospital doors.
Project HOPE’s Executive Director for Indonesia, Edhie Rahmat, based in Jakarta, issued the following on-the-ground statement:
“The peak of the second COVID-19 wave in Indonesia has not been reached yet. The number of severe cases in Greater Jakarta, Greater Bandung, Yogyakarta, Kudus, Grobogan, Surabaya and other areas have been exceeding hospital bed capacity, so much that most hospitals have built tents to care for patients outside the building.
“Sick patients are just waiting for new deaths so they can even have a chance of making it inside a hospital. Health centres in urban cities like Tangerang, Bekasi and Greater Bandung have been forced to open temporary tents to care for COVID-19 patients before they’re even admitted or referred to hospitals.
“Both hospitals and those sick patients outside the hospitals who are self-quarantining are queuing for oxygen, but it’s very difficult to get even a single small tank. If they can find oxygen, the price is 3 to 4 times higher than normal prices. People are also queuing to get azithromycin, ivermectin and other medicines from pharmacies and even from illegal drug stores as they have resorted to seeking any available resources from WhatsApp groups.
“We’re hearing many sad stories, such as from Sardjito, a big public teaching hospital in Yogyakarta, that experienced 33 COVID-19 deaths in a single day — in front of their emergency ward before the hospital team could even give proper treatment to those waiting for beds. The manager also announced a need for volunteer doctors, nurses and other health professionals to join the hospital, as well as the need for PPE, oxygen, and other supplies from public donation.
“The central and local governments are enforcing strict restrictions of social activities until July 20 in Java and Bali islands. This includes full work-from-home orders; a semi-lockdown in certain areas; strict requirements for intercity travel such as negative COVID-19 tests and proof of at least one vaccine dose; the closing of malls and restaurants; and limiting all gatherings.
“Despite current efforts to respond to the COVID-19 surge, this is an alarming situation that may trigger an urgent need for emergency humanitarian assistance.”
Project HOPE is supporting 25 hospitals across Indonesia to implement the World Health Organization’s standardized Infection Prevention Control (IPC) through training on preventing transmission of COVID-19 in the health facility setting. Low awareness to virus transmission at health facilities is one of several factors contributing to increased COVID-19 cases and deaths amongst Indonesian health care workers. The training also includes IPC management, screening and triage of COVID-19 suspected cases, the correct use of PPE, medical waste disposal and environmental control.
Project HOPE In Indonesia:
- Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) assessments and programs to reduce infection transmission have been implemented in 25 hospitals across seven regions – West Sumatera, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Java, West Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua.
- Project HOPE staff in Indonesia are working with KUN Humanity System+ to help health care workers cope with the pandemic through free mental health and resiliency trainings done openly and in groups — an important first step to normalize a support system that is too often overlooked in clinical settings.
- Project HOPE is continuously working to expand capacity of health care workers to understand, respond, treat and protect against COVID-19. Through translation to the local language and a cascade training approach, we have reached over 50,000 health care workers with COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Trainings.
- Over 30,000 pieces of PPE have been distributed.
About Project HOPE
With the mission to place power in the hands of local health workers to save lives around the world, Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries. Founded in 1958, we work side-by-side with local health systems to improve health and support community resilience. We work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases; disasters and health crises; maternal, neonatal and child health; pandemic preparedness and response; mental health for health workers; and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg.
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