Overwhelmed hospitals contribute to soaring COVID-19 deaths: minister

Overwhelmed hospitals contribute to soaring COVID-19 deaths: minister

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut B.Pandjaitan (ANTARA/Youtube Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Ministry)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government unveiled on Sunday that the overwhelmed hospitals and COVID-19 patients arriving at hospitals with low oxygen saturation had contributed to the soaring deaths in the past week.

The soaring death rate was also triggered by the absence of carers for COVID-19 patients conducting self isolation at home, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut B.Pandjaitan said.

The factors responsible for the hike in COVID-19 deaths were revealed as part of significant findings of recent field studies, he said in a press statement that ANTARA received in Jakarta on Sunday.

He had also shared the findings at a coordination meeting with several governors and district heads to discuss necessary measures to reduce the COVID-19 death rates in the islands of Java and Bali on Saturday.

President Joko Widodo appointed Pandjaitan as the coordinator for the enforcement of emergency and level 4 public activity restrictions (PPKM) in the islands of Java and Bali from July 3 to July 25.

At the meeting, referring to the research findings, he said that the people succumbing to the coronavirus disease are generally those with comorbidities or unvaccinated.

"After knowing these factors, we must take immediate intervention measures to reduce the COVID-19 death rates," he said.

Among the immediate measures necessarily taken are increasing the ICU bed capacity at hospitals and ensuring the availability of medical oxygen stocks in areas with high COVID-19 death rates.

Pandjaitan also highlighted the importance of having centralized self-isolation facilities, and carers for high-risk groups of COVID-19 patients conducting self-isolation at home to reduce the death rates.

Regarding the distribution of free medicine packages for self-isolating COVID-19 patients, he requested the health offices to keep maintaining good coordination with the Indonesian Military (TNI).

"The key to handling this pandemic is having discipline and synergistic collaboration," he said.

To this end, the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing need to be intensified in a consistent and collaborative manner to break the chain of coronavirus infection, he added.


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