Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) monumentalizes 730 doctors, who died during service while caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Monument of the Indonesian Doctors' Struggle located in Central Jakarta.

"Doctors have a big role in the course of the pandemic. I laud the service and struggles of the 730 doctors, who died while fulfilling their duties. They are the health heroes of Indonesia," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin remarked virtually at the inauguration of the monument here on Thursday.

Through the Monument of the Indonesian Doctors' Struggle, Sadikin invited the public to remember the doctors, who had passed away. "Let us keep fighting to be heroes to the families, others, and the country," he stated.

The monument has a sculpture of a flame that stands 270 cm in height and measures 120 cm in diameter.

IDI Board Chairman Daeng M. Faqih noted that the pandemic, ongoing since the past two years in Indonesia, had also shaken the health sector.

"A situation that causes doctors to experience emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion due to excessive and prolonged stress," he noted.

Based on data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force and the IDI Mitigation Team as of September 9, 2021, the death count of doctors in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 situation had reached 730, Faqih remarked.

He explained that the fact psychologically burdened doctors while providing services to the public.

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However, he emphasized that the doctor's profession always prioritized humanitarian principles followed by integrity and capability.

"Eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic did not shake the professionalism of a doctor," he affirmed.

The monument, created by sculptor Yani Mariani Sastranegara, presents the burning flame as a symbol of energy, resilience, and spirit.

"Fire gives warmth and lighting. This monument presents fire in the form of stillation. We can see the process of simplification (of the sculpture), albeit without leaving the character and shape of the fire as the original object," Sastranegara explained.

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Translator: Andi F, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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