Bed Occupancy Crisis, Oxygen Shortages, What to do When you Test Positive
Jul 07, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Collapse? Bed Occupancy Rates Skyrocketing, Oxygen Crisis, Hospitals Overloaded
The bed occupancy rate (BOR) for Covid-19 isolation rooms in Jakarta has hit 93 percent, and 94 percent for intensive care units (ICU), according to Jakarta Health Agency Head Widyastuti. Effectively this means the system is full. Hospital administrators and patients are telling AmCham there are virtually no beds to be had in Jakarta.
The World Health Organization (WHO) safety threshold is 60 percent occupancy. Widyastuti said the health agency is working to prepare more hospitals so more patients can be accommodated.
As new records are being set daily for deaths and new cases, Indonesian hospitals are overloaded and struggling with oxygen shortages. There are reports of many people dying in self-isolation, being denied treatment at overloaded hospitals, or dying as they search fruitlessly to find a bed. In one instance, over 60 patients reportedly died over the weekend in Yogyakarta’s main referral hospital for Covid, Sardjito Hospital, after it ran out of its central oxygen supply.
The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) has issued a number of recommendations related to Covid-19 handling, including what to do if your test results are positive. Remaining calm and going into self-quarantine are preliminary steps, instead of rushing to an overwhelmed hospital system. To monitor symptoms, KSP endorses the use of telemedicine services for online consultations.
Here’s what you should do during your self-quarantine:
Ensure good ventilation and lighting in your room
Use your own equipment and do not share with others, including utensils and toiletries
Keep your distance, wash your hands frequently and wear masks
Use a separate bathroom from other people. If you do not have a separate bathroom, clean the shared bathroom frequently
Sleep in a different bedroom from others
Keep your laundry separate from healthy residents’ laundry
Regularly monitor symptoms
Manage your trash carefully
If the symptoms worsen, immediately go to a hospital or notify local health authorities.
Patients are also advised to boost their immune system to help a faster recovery. This can be done by doing light exercise; sunbathing; consuming lots of protein, vitamin C, D, and zinc; and getting enough rest.
Government Ready for 40,000 Case a Day in 'Worst Case:’ Luhut
The government has already made preparations for a “worst-case scenario” of daily Covid-19 cases hitting 40,000, Luhut Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, said, focusing on medicine, oxygen, and hospitals.
Luhut said the government has received a sufficient amount of oxygen via ISO tanks and established a new makeshift hospital in East Jakarta that will be opened tomorrow, July 8. The Ministry of Health also said 7,000 new isolation rooms will be added to makeshift hospitals in the capital. Luhut said the government has requested additional help from Singapore and China, and is prepared to ask for more help should the daily cases surpass 40,000.
Almost 35,000 Cases in New Daily Record, Low Test Rates Targeted
Indonesia reported new records of 34,379 Covid-19 daily cases today, July 7, and 1,040 deaths. This brings the total cases since the pandemic began to 2.379 million with 62,908 deaths.
Some 136,765 people were tested for Covid-19 yesterday, July 6, the highest number so far, but still far from the government’s testing target of 324,283 per day during the emergency PPKM.
Indonesia’s testing rates remain far below international standards and as a result, the positivity rate (ratio of positive cases per test) is above 20 percent nationally and far higher in many areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) threshold is 5 percent or less, with the standard of testing one person per thousand (1:1,000) of the population per week.
In other news, the government is to change its risk zone system following data manipulation by some regional governments, said health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin. He said several governments had not revealed the full extent of their Covid-19 cases or did not conduct testing as much as they should, in fear of being categorized as a red zone (the highest risk).
The zone system will no longer be based on the number of confirmed cases, Budi said. Instead, the designation of red, yellow, and green zones will be based on the testing ratio – the number of tests held daily in a region. The government will also check the positivity rate, with every region expected to achieve the 1:1,000 persons per week minimum mandated by the WHO.
Health experts say that Indonesia’s case figures, as dramatic as they are, are far lower than actual cases due to the low rates of testing since the pandemic began.
The government has asked oxygen producers to increase production for medical purposes. Demand for medical oxygen is estimated to be 800 tons each day, while the industry has idle capacity of 225,000 tons a year that can still be optimized.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan has asked five major oxygen producers to channel 100 percent of their oxygen for medical services and to convert industrial oxygen to medical purposes. He said oxygen demand has soared up to four times over previous demand.
Danone Indonesia has worked with governments, institutions, hospitals, and social organizations to distribute Rp 56 billion since the beginning of the pandemic, providing personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and empowerment for affected micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). It has also distributed more than 200,000 healthy food packages and over two million bottles of AQUA and Mizone to medical personnel and vulnerable groups.
In 2021, on top of rolling out the Gotong Royong Vaccination for its employees and families, Danone along with partners Gojek, Halodoc, Grab, Good Doctor, Siloam, Gadjah Mada University, State University of Yogyakarta, RSCM, Alodokter, and many more, has also supported government vaccination programs targeting the elderly; public service, media, tourism industry, and transportation workers; and retail partners in more than 13 cities in Indonesia. It has also provided hydration in more than 400 vaccination centers for healthcare workers and the public.
Recent actions include the Danone vaccination center in the JW Marriot Hotel Yogyakarta to support the Sleman region and to help tourism workers and the general public. This center served up to 1,300 doses of the vaccine every day for eight days.
Danone Indonesia, through its business units AQUA and Sarihusada, will continue to contribute to support the government in an effort to accelerate vaccination coverage.
Micro PPKM Extended to All Provinces Outside Java and Bali
Micro community activity restrictions (PPKM) have been extended to all provinces outside of Java and Bali starting yesterday, July 6, according to Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and Chairman of the Committee for Handling Covid-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPCPEN), Airlangga Hartarto. The restrictions apply to 43 regencies/cities with level 4 designations.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has revised registration requirements for Worker Registration Certificates (STRP), specifically for critical and essential workers. Starting yesterday, July 6, the system now only allows applications from companies rather than previously from individuals. Companies will have to submit the names of all employees required to come to the office in the registration form. The revision was made to prevent further errors in the JakEvo registration system, which was caused by the high number of applicants during the first day STRP was implemented.
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AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor