More hospitals prepared, oxygen supply sufficient: Indonesian health minister as COVID-19 cases surge

More hospitals prepared, oxygen supply sufficient: Indonesian health minister as COVID-19 cases surge

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) breaths with a non-rebreather mask in a
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) breaths with a non-rebreather mask in an emergency tent at a hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Friday (Jun 25) that more hospitals and beds have been prepared in Jakarta to cope with another surge of COVID-19 cases, while assuring the public that there is sufficient oxygen supply on Java island. 

This came after a record-breaking 20,574 new COVID-19 cases the day before, with Jakarta logging a record of 7,505 infections.

Speaking during a press conference, the minister said that Persahabatan hospital, Sulianti Saroso hospital and Fatmawati hospital, all in the capital city, will be converted into full COVID-19 hospitals.

The government is also readying new makeshift COVID-19 hospitals in Jakarta. They will be located within the government subsidised housing complexes of Nagrak and Pasar Rumput. These makeshift facilities will treat asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, Jakarta’s 2018 Asian Games Athlete's Village, which since last year has been turned into an emergency COVID-19 makeshift hospital, will treat patients with severe symptoms. 

“Thus, we will have hundreds of new beds with full equipment (as well as) experienced doctors and nurses to treat COVID-19 patients in Jakarta.

“And we hope, this week the conversion will be finished so it can add the number of beds to treat Jakartans," Mr Sadikin said.

He added that emergency rooms in Jakarta's hospitals will also be converted into COVID-19 isolation rooms, while tents outside the hospitals will be set up to serve as emergency rooms.

Mr Sadikin stated that the country has 85,000 hospital beds, excluding the new COVID-19 hospitals and isolation rooms in Jakarta. He said that 60,000 beds are currently occupied.

Healthcare workers wearing PPE get ready to treat patients at the emergency hospital for COVID-19,
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) get ready to treat patients at the emergency hospital for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

READ: Jokowi aims to vaccinate 7.5 million Jakartans by end August, but experts say herd immunity is not a given

The minister also commented on local media reports that some hospitals in Java are about to run out of oxygen. 

He said that of Indonesia’s total oxygen production capacity, 25 per cent is used for medical purposes and the rest is for industries. He added that producers are willing to support the health sector if needed. 

Indonesia is battling an influx of COVID-19 cases following last month’s Idul Fitri holiday where people returned to their hometowns and throngs of people crowded tourist spots.

As of Friday, it has reported 2,072,867 COVID-19 cases and 56,371 deaths.

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Source: CNA/ks

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