More comorbidities means a higher risk of death
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The comorbidity factor and vaccination rates are the key factors in ending the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, public health expert of the University of Indonesia Pandu Riono opined.

"Besides the vaccination rate, comorbidity screening is also important now," Riono said during a virtual dialogue broadcast by the Internet Sehat YouTube channel here on Friday.

Riono noted that the prevalence of kidney diseases, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes among citizens demonstrates that Indonesia is currently witnessing the spread of multiple non-communicable diseases.

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Those diseases have greatly burdened the national health insurance BPJS Kesehatan, which covers claims for the treatment of diseases, he remarked.

He also said that people with comorbidity are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, as the current COVID-19 death rate for patients with comorbidities are dominated by those who have more than one comorbidity.

"More comorbidities means a higher risk of death," Riono said.

Riono also highlighted the results of research conducted from March 1, 2021, until February 16, 2022, which concluded that COVID-19 deaths with comorbidities are dominated by kidney failure with 42.3 per cent, followed by heart disease with 27.8 per cent, then Diabetes Mellitus with 25.2 per cent, and hypertension with 17.8 per cent.

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He also pointed out that the mortality rate of COVID-19 positive patients without comorbidity stands at 2.8 per cent, while the rate for one comorbidity increases deaths to 14.8 per cent, followed by two comorbidities with 25.5 per cent, three comorbidities at 36.5 per cent, and four comorbidities to 40 per cent.

Riono has urged the authority to enact a strong regulation to control food products and materials potentially causing comorbidity.

"If we have a regulation that restricts saline solution, sugar, and fat in food products, it will decrease the comorbidity risk," Riono said.

Comorbidity has also burdened the healthcare capacity in Indonesia, hence the importance of early detection to reduce the necessity of medical care to treat comorbidities at health centres, he noted.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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