Policeman dies of COVID-19 in Papua

Policeman dies of COVID-19 in Papua

Spokesperson for the Papua Provincial Government's COVID-19 task force, Dr. Silwanus Sumule. (ANTARA/Evarukdijati)

We have thoroughly checked the deceased's medical record and are convinced that his death had nothing to do with co-morbidities
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A 50-year-old police officer succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease in Jayapura on Friday, according to spokesperson for the Papua Provincial Administration's COVID-19 task force, Silwanus Sumule.


The policeman was the first COVID-19 inpatient without co-morbidities to die of the infection, Sumule told ANTARA on Saturday in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province.


"We have thoroughly checked the deceased's medical record and are convinced that his death had nothing to do with co-morbidities,” he said, adding that several other police officers had tested positive for COVID-19, but most of them had made a full recovery.


Sumule said the policeman was buried at a local cemetery with the observance of COVID-19 protocols.


Meanwhile, head of the Papua Police Health Division, Sen.Coms. Agustinus, said 15 police officers in the province have been diagnosed with COVID-19.


They are currently under isolation in several quarantine sites, he informed.


As of Friday, Papua Province has recorded 929 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 286 recoveries and 14 deaths.


Meanwhile, at present, 629 COVID-19 patients remain admitted at local hospitals.


While handling COVID-19 cases, medical workers in Papua have been on the alert for the security threat posed by armed Papuan rebels.


On May 22, 2020, two medical workers — Almalek Bagau and Eunico Somou — from the Wandai Health Center in Intan Jaya District were reportedly shot by armed rebels while they were delivering drugs for COVID-19 patients.

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Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw condemned the attack saying that it could not be justified on any ground.


"I have informed the central government about the incident, which needs to be strongly condemned. The shooting of the two medical workers who were on a humanitarian mission is really inhumane," he said in Timika, the capital of Mimika District, recently.


According to police, Bagau and Somou were carrying walkie-talkie devices to communicate with the local COVID-19 post as there was no cellular network in the area. This led their attackers to mistake them for security personnel and open fire at them.


"If they (rebels) want to face military and police personnel, that's their business. But, they must not kill humanitarian workers. Instead of killing humanitarian workers, they must assist them and thank them," Waterpauw said. (INE)

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