"Unfortunately, unlike the positive cases that have continued to decline, the number of deaths has increased. This week, there has been an increase of 29.2 percent (in the death rate),” spokesperson for the task force, Wiku Adisasmito, said at an online press conference here on Tuesday.
According to Adisasmito, five provinces that have contributed to the COVID-19 death toll during the period are Central Java, which has reported 178 new deaths, followed by South Sumatra (25), Jakarta (20), West Java (18), and Aceh (15).
"I want to warn all provinces, especially Central Java that has seen a significant increase in the death toll. Hopefully, they can evaluate the COVID-19 handling in the region," he said.
The task force has urged the Central Java provincial administration to identify districts and cities that have contributed to the increasing number of deaths.
"Immediately improve the handling, especially for patients with moderate and severe symptoms. Improve tracing and testing for early detection of transmission," he advised.
Adisasmito also stressed the need to prevent any further increase in COVID-19 deaths.
“Moreover, the bed occupancy ratio (BOR) has not shown an increase and the number of active cases nationwide has declined. We have dealt with this pandemic for one year, hence we should be able to prevent (COVID-19) deaths," he said.
He urged hospitals facing problems in handling COVID-19 patients to contact the Health Ministry for help.
The number of COVID-19 red zones, or areas at high risk of coronavirus transmission, went up between April 18 and April 25, 2021 from six to 19 districts/cities, while the number of orange zones, or areas at moderate risk, increased from 322 to 340 districts/cities, he informed.
As many as 14 districts/cities in Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, Bali, and South Kalimantan have changed from orange to red zones.
Twelve districts/cities in North Sumatra, eight districts/cities in Aceh, and six districts/cities in Southeast Sulawesi have changed from yellow zones, or areas at low risk of COVID-19 transmission, to orange zones.
"I hope that all governors and district heads/mayors in the regions I have mentioned will monitor this risk zonation and evaluate COVID-19 handling in their respective areas. This is an unexpected development," he remarked.
Regional leaders, he said, should optimize the function of the COVID-19 posts to monitor the implementation of micro-scale public activities restrictions.
"Without these posts it would be difficult for regions to anticipate a spike in COVID-19 cases during Eid al-Fitr," he added.
As of April 26, 2021, the task force has recorded a total of 1,647,138 positive cases of COVID-19, with 1,501,715 recoveries and 44,771 deaths. (INE)
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EDITED BY INE