Indonesia loses more than 500 doctors to COVID-19

More than 500 doctors have died from COVID-19 in Indonesia since the outbreak began in March last year, according to the country’s top medical body.

Jul 24, 2021

A doctor is tested for Covid-19 at Siloam Hospital, Kebun Jeruk, Jakarta, in Indonesia. (Photo: AFP)


By Konradus Epa
More than 500 doctors have died from COVID-19 in Indonesia since the outbreak began in March last year, according to the country’s top medical body.

At least 545 have fallen victim to the coronavirus, the Indonesian Doctors Association revealed July 17.

Of that total, 292 were general practitioners while 241 were specialists, association spokesman Mahesa Paranadipa said, adding that most were aged between 30 and 50.

Paranadipa said the high number of deaths has impacted hospital services and patient care and shows that more needs to be done to protect health workers in the fight against the virus.

He said various factors contributed to the doctors’ deaths, including a lack of protective gear, early detection and effective quarantining procedures.

He also said an excessive workload following a spike in cases caused by the highly infectious Delta variant in recent months had lowered immunity levels among some physicians.

“Although the doctors have been fully vaccinated, they are exhausted through overwork. We are looking at ways to better protect doctors still serving people,” said Paranadipa.

He called on all Indonesians to strictly adhere to health protocols to ease the burden on health workers. There are only around 168,000 doctors in Indonesia — a relatively small number compared to the general population of about 270 million.

Indonesia now has the highest number of daily deaths attributed to COVID-19, overtaking India, the country where the Delta variant was first detected. ucanews.com

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