Increase in COVID-19 caseload manageable: Health Minister

Increase in COVID-19 caseload manageable: Health Minister

A medical officer brings a patient out of a treatment room at the inauguration of the Referral Hospital for Handling COVID-19 in Banda Aceh, Aceh on Tuesday (April 20, 2021). (ANTARA PHOTOS / AMPELSA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, has said that the increase witnessed in the number of COVID-19 patients in several areas recently is manageable and can be handled by hospitals.

"We have seen that in government hospitals in the Sumatra region, since the Easter holidays, there has been a slight increase (in COVID-19 infections), but the bed occupancy rate (BOR) is also still low,” he said at a webinar on Friday.

An increase in the number of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment has also been reported in DKI Jakarta and West Java provinces, Minister Sadikin disclosed, but did not divulge further details.

In Jakarta, several hospitals have increased (the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients), but the bed occupancy rate is still low. We are not short of hospital beds. In West Java, there has been a slight increase in cases and the number of patients in hospitals," he said.

The rate of COVID-19 transmission currently is still low, he added and asked the public to remain disciplined in observing the health protocols to prevent any fresh spike in infections, like the one reported in India recently.

"The increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in India is quite high, due to two things, firstly, because there is a new (virus) mutation there, and secondly, because there was a quite drastic decline (in cases) since December, 2020, a lot of easing was done too quickly," he observed.

The easing included granting of permits for religious activities that attract large crowds of people, he added.

The minister asserted that the implementation of micro-scale community activity restrictions (PPKM) has proven to be effective in reducing COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

"With the micro-scale community activity restrictions and vaccinations, we have experienced a decline similar to what India experienced last September (2020), and the decline was quite drastic," he claimed.

"Learning from India, we must be careful to see what this trend looks like. Since the Easter holidays two weeks ago, we see this week the average has started to increase slightly. This is a common task. Don't be like India. Better to be vigilant from the start," he said. (INE)

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