Connect with us

World News

COVID: Indonesian hospitals grapple with shortages as cases surge




COVID: Indonesian hospitals grapple with shortages as cases surge

Indonesia’s health care system and hospitals are struggling to keep up with an influx of new COVID patients. One of the largest hospitals in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province reported last week that dozens of patients died after the hospital ran out of oxygen due to the large numbers of COVID-19 patients coming in.

Meanwhile, in the capital Jakarta, the daily funeral service with COVID-19 protocols has increased to 10 times a day since early May, said Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. The governor also recently established an emergency oxygen refill station at the National Monument, for hospitals in the area.

The Southeast Asian country, with a population of about 270 million, was severely hit by the outbreak after the Eid celebration in May, which saw millions of people travel and gather to celebrate the holiday.

That outbreak has been made worse, as infections surge amid the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.

On Tuesday, Indonesia confirmed more than 31,000 new cases and 728 related fatalities, bringing the total official number of infections to around 2,345,000 and deaths to 61,868.

The government announced two weeks of restrictions on public activity on the Java and Bali islands starting on July 3, but experts say the policy doesn’t go far enough.

Not enough beds or oxygen

Sagiran, a surgeon at the Nur Hidayah Hospital in Yogyakarta province who goes with only one name, said that over the past weekend, almost all of the hospitals in the province were full, while oxygen supplies were running low.

“Yogyakarta has been facing an oxygen shortage over the last five days. Usually for a small hospital like this, we receive at least 20 canisters of oxygen per delivery, but [now] we only get around five canisters. One day, we didn’t receive any oxygen supplies at all. So, we must turn away patients and postpone all non-urgent surgeries,” Sagiran told DW.

Meanwhile, other hospitals are building additional tents to accommodate the overflow in patients.

“All medical facilities such as public health centers and clinics have reached their full capacities. Doctors are overworked and we don’t have enough human resources because many doctors are infected by coronavirus themselves and have to self-isolate,” he said.

In one district, he said, hospitals started hiring medical students to work as volunteers.

He added that many people are letting down their guard when it comes to health protocols, resulting in the higher infection rate.

Full hospitals and long queues

Rini Aryani, a doctor from a hospital in Kudus, Central Java Province, said that the bed occupancy in her hospital remained high.

In June, Aryani said, sometimes up to eight people would die on her watch in a single day. Meanwhile, the emergency room was full, with cars queuing in front of the hospital to bring in new patients.

Aryani added that family members of patients had accused her of being inhumane for turning patients away.

“It makes me angry. They said we are inhumane because we cannot give them a bed. But the truth is that there are no more beds available, and we don’t have enough doctors and rooms to treat them,” she told DW.

Because hospitals often reach their maximum capacities and turn down patients, many people with COVID-19 have no other choice than to isolate themselves at home.

‘Just the tip of the iceberg’

More than 260 people with COVID died while self-isolating between June and July, according to independent data initiative, LaporCovid-19.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg and must be addressed immediately,” Irma Hidayana of LaporCovid-19 told DW.

The number of doctors and health care workers dying from the virus also continues to grow. According to the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), as of June 28, at least 1,031 health care workers died, 405 of whom were doctors. Meanwhile, between February and May 2021, around 61 doctors died, 14 of whom had been fully vaccinated.

Experts warned that the actual number of infections could be five times higher than the reported numbers due to the low rate of testing, especially in rural areas.

“It is clear that the data shows only around 10% of the actual numbers,” Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Griffith University in Australia, told DW.

Without implementing tougher measures, Budiman predicts the pandemic will reach its peak by the end of July or August.

Only about 32.3 million people out of Indonesia’s 270 million have received their first vaccine shot, while only 14 million have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the government is seeking to vaccinate over 181 million by April 2022 in order to achieve herd immunity.

The Health Ministry’s vaccine spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarimizi, said the government will accelerate its vaccination program and increase early testing to contain the delta variant.

Indonesia has so far secured over 99 million vaccine doses, she said. “It is enough to fully vaccinate 44 million people, and we will continue to gradually receive vaccines, with a total of 400 million doses.”



Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok5 hours ago

Bang Sue Station begins 150k vaccine booster shots tomorrow

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Expat “dual pricing” at Thai hospital lawsuit; Patong bars raided | September 23

Economy6 hours ago

PM Prayut announces a 5-point plan for the future economy

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand7 hours ago

Khon Kaen restaurant busted for allegedly serving alcohol

Kanchanaburi8 hours ago

14 Burmese migrant workers arrested for allegedly illegally crossing the border

Chiang Mai9 hours ago

Cyclist unable to take steep hill plunges to his death in Chiang Mai ravine

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand9 hours ago

Thaiger Bites | The eye of the Thaiger | Ep. 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 13,256 new cases; provincial totals

Pattaya10 hours ago

Pattaya Man goes looking for food, later found dead in graveyard

Phuket10 hours ago

Minor Phuket entry revision: Covid-19 test within 7 days, not 3

News11 hours ago

Grenade attack kills ranger in Pattani

Pattaya11 hours ago

Reopening Pattaya: Will it happen next week or not?

Thailand12 hours ago

5 police kiosks set on fire in Bangkok, no injuries reported

Pattaya12 hours ago

Pattaya restaurant busted selling alcohol, 15 arrested

Thailand12 hours ago

Decision on Hua Hin Hospital “dual pricing” case set for next week

Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11