After recovering from an infection, Irman Pahlepi was able to resume his work at Jakarta’s Dr. Suyoto hospital. He immediately began treating COVID-19 patients.
As the number of Indonesian infections is on the rise and death rates are steadily increasing, health care workers are becoming depleted. Pahlepi (30) felt that he could not help but jump in again.
He said, “We have so much more patients to treat than last year.” “The number COVID-19 patients has quadrupled since January’s peak.”
Indonesia, fourth in population, experienced its worst day, with 2,069 people dying from COVID-19 on Tuesday. The number of fatalities remains high. The official total of cases was more than 3.4million with 97.291 deaths as of Sunday. However, with poor testing and many people who die at home, it is likely that the true numbers are much higher.
The region is currently dealing with a new coronavirus outbreak fueled by the delta variant. Indonesia’s death rates reached a 7-day average of 6.5 per Million on Aug. 1. This was second only to Myanmar, and much higher than India’s peak rate (3.04 in May).
According to the Risk Mitigation Team (Indonesian Medical Association), more than 1,200 Indonesian health care workers were among the dead. This includes 598 doctors. At least 24 of the doctors were fully vaccinated.
Mahesa Paranadipa who co-leads mitigation team said that many others are tired from the work load, which makes them more susceptible to becoming ill like Pahlepi.
Paranadipa stated that “we are concerned about overburdened workloads lasting a long time, which could cause potential burnout conditions.” “This fatigue decreases the immunity of health workers.”
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the Health Minister, acknowledged Monday’s risks and stated that it was a priority to give them a third dose of booster vaccines. Many who have been vaccinated received Sinovac. This vaccine appears to be less effective than the delta variant. Indonesia has begun giving booster shots.
Sadikin stated that the boosters from Moderna are for health workers so they can be available for patients at hospitals.
Insufficient supplies are another problem in Indonesia, along with the shortage of medical personnel.
Pahlepi stated that his hospital is experiencing oxygen shortages and is over-filled, making it more difficult to properly treat patients.
He said that it’s become quite common for people suffering from severe symptoms to wait in line for beds in the hospital’s emergency department. There are also more people waiting in line for isolation ward beds after treatment.