JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The spread of coronavirus among Indonesia's medical workers has puzzled the health community as the infections involve staff not stationed in emergency or intensive care units where there is direct contact with Covid-19 patients.
How Indonesia’s medical workers have been infected remains unknown, said Harif Fadhillah, chairman of the Indonesian National Nurses Association.
An in-depth evaluation is needed on asymptomatic Covid-19 carriers at Indonesia’s hospitals, he said, adding that it is likely the spread of the Covid-19 virus to Indonesia’s medical workers is caused by asymptomatic persons.
“A big question remains behind all the events. Have they been infected? Does it have anything to do with the hospital?” said Harif.
“We have to evaluate the management of hospital services in detail given the high number of asymptomatic patients today.”
Harif also wanted to bring attention to the accommodations provided to Indonesia’s medical workers, which he deems is insufficient.
Indonesia’s medical workers have not been provided with temporary housing or specialized accommodations that would not require them to commute between home and hospital.
“They [Indonesia’s medical workers] use public transportation. Thus, there are questions about whether they were infected inside public transportations or in their own homes. We would need to delve into this matter further to find out,” said Harif.
Harif suspects that some of Indonesia’s medical workers became infected with the Covid-19 virus because they improperly wore their personal protective equipment.
“Perhaps when they took off the equipment, they were no longer concentrating as they wanted to hurry and finish. That could also be a possibility of the virus’ transmission among Indonesia’s medical workers.”
On July 8, Indonesia’s Ministry of Health said that it has offered incentives to 166,029 Indonesian medical workers.
The realized budget for incentives allocated to Indonesia’s medical workers has reached Rp 278 billion, according to the Health Ministry’s Secretary of Human Resources Development and Empowerment Trisa Wahjuni Putri.
The ministry has handled compensation for death of 32 Indonesian medical workers.
It has allocated Rp 60 billion of the ministry’s budget specifically for compensations for death although Rp 9.6 billion has been realized as of July 8.
Indonesia has only realized 5.12 percent of the national budget designated for the country’s healthcare industry.
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