Wearing masks can protect elderly: UI School of Medicine dean

Wearing masks can protect elderly: UI School of Medicine dean

Vaccination for UI students. (ANTARA/Foto: Humas UI)

By wearing masks, Insya Allah (God willing), we can save our beloved and our elderly parents
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Dean of the University of Indonesia's School of Medicine, Professor Ari Fahrial Syam, has urged Indonesians to wear masks whenever they meet their elderly parents to protect them from COVID-19.


The higher risk of COVID-19 infection among older adults has been confirmed by the outcome of a joint research conducted last year by the School of Medicine and Jakarta's Health Office, he said here on Wednesday.


According to the findings of the published research, aging, shortness of breath, pneumonia, and hypertension are related to the risk of death, he said, adding that older adults contracting COVID-19 are at a higher risk of death.


The outcome of the research project, which involved 4,052 COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, showed that the percentage of coronavirus deaths rose as the age of the patients increased, Syam informed.

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The fatality rate among adults aged 70 years or more was recorded at 30.11 percent, while it stood at 14.7 percent and 3.38 percent, respectively, for people in the 50-69 and 20-49 age groups, he said.


The findings convey an important message that must be kept in mind, he remarked.


"If our elderly parents keep staying at home, but they still get infected, they must have gotten it from those around them who still do outdoor activities," Syam said.


To protect older adults, including elderly parents staying at home, from the higher risk of COVID-19 infection, wearing of masks must become a regular habit, he added.


"By wearing masks, Insya Allah (God willing), we can save our beloved and our elderly parents," said the dean, who obtained his master's degree from the University of Queensland and PhD from the University of Indonesia.


Over the past few weeks, Indonesia has been struggling to flatten its COVID-19 curve amid the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has led to an exponential increase in daily cases.


ANTARA reported earlier that as of 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Jakarta's recovery rate stood at 652,242 after 12,071 more COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals in a single day.

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According to the provincial government's website corona.jakarta.go.id, the recovery rate in Jakarta reached 86.1 percent and the mortality rate 1.4 percent.


Meanwhile, the number of active cases, or patients receiving treatment and conducting self-isolation, declined by 6,123 on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative number of active cases to 94,673.


With 265 patients succumbing to the infection, the COVID-19 death toll in the capital reached 10,610, while the number of positive cases rose by 6,213, taking the total tally to 757,525.


The exponential increase in new COVID-19 cases in Jakarta has been accompanied by a high demand for oxygen cylinders from both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted at hospitals and other health facilities.


Due to the surge in demand for medical oxygen, Ahmad Riza Patria, the Deputy Governor of Jakarta, has asked the city's residents to desist from hoarding or stockpiling oxygen cylinders at home unless and until there is a dire requirement.

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