JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Individuals with pre-existing conditions are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus in Indonesia.
People in this risk category have been the dominant group in Indonesia's coronavirus-related deaths.
Those with kidney disease, in particular, are at the highest risk, said Epidemiologist of the National Covid-19 Task Force Dewi Nur Aisyah.
“The analysis is completed and it turns out that people with pre-existing conditions have the highest fatality rate," Dewi said during a press conference at the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) on Monday. "Those who suffer from kidney disease are most at risk with a higher chance of suffering from infection and have a higher fatality rate.”
Ailments that are immunity-related such as HIV or lupus also put the individual at higher risk of contracting coronavirus in Indonesia.
Heart disease is another pre-existing condition on the list.
Even though most of the pre-existing health conditions mentioned predominantly affect Indonesia’s senior citizens, it does not exempt the younger generation from being infected by coronavirus.
Indonesia's Covid-19 fatality rate is the highest in Southeast Asia and East Asia ex-China.
As of June 15, the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of 2,198 people. Singapore's fatality rate with 25 deaths as of June 12 provides a stark comparison.
The average fatality rate for other Southeast Asian countries is 2.7 percent while Indonesia’s stands at 5.6.
The National Covid-19 Task Force announced on June 15 that there are an additional 1,017 new coronavirus cases in Indonesia.
The number pushes further Indonesia’s surge in new infections as the central and regional governments ramp up aggressive testing and contact tracing.
Indonesia currently has 39,294 active cases of coronavirus although the majority of those infected have mild symptoms.
Reading the numbers
The Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Task Force at UNS Hospital, Tonang Dwi Ardyanto, said that based on the Indonesian Ministry of Health’s data from June 3, Covid-19 deaths of those with a pre-existing condition make up 26.34 percent.
Covid-19 deaths of people who had more than one pre-existing condition make up more than 50 percent of total coronavirus-related deaths.
Patients who passed away purely from Covid-19 in Indonesia make up 7.31 percent which, according to Tonang, is far lower than other countries where the estimate is around 20 percent.
Tonang warned that having no pre-existing condition does not guarantee an individual has a strong immune system.
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