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“Healthcare workers in Indonesia face a double burden,” said Edhie Rahmat, Indonesia executive director of Project HOPE, short for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.
First, they must take care of both Covid patients and patients with other illnesses. Second, they are “under pressure to quickly cover a high number of populations that need to be vaccinated,” he told CNBC in an email.
The total number of infections crossed the 2 million mark on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 55,594 people have died from Covid-19 in Indonesia. Meanwhile, around 8.9% of Indonesia’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 4.6% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.
Nearly 980 healthcare workers have died from Covid-19, according to data from LaporCovid-19.
Medical workers are also at risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Rahmat said.
“Most health workers in Indonesia do not have the experience to deal with long-term crisis situations like this,” said Yogi Mahendra, Project HOPE emergency response specialist for the ‘Southeast Asia, in a statement.
Increase in cases
“Most Indonesians, regardless of their religion, enjoy this gathering and celebrate with lots of food, handshakes and discussions,” said Rahmat.
Authorities announced tighter restrictions in 29 infection hot spots this week, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, Reuters reported.
In these so-called “red zones”, religious activities in places of worship have been suspended, while restaurants, cafes and shopping centers can only operate at 25% of their capacity, Reuters said.
He also noted that some vaccinated health workers had contracted Covid-19, citing a report from a Kudus district official, who said 350 such cases had been detected.
“We have also received a report of a midwife who died in the neighboring district of Kudus and two doctors who died during the same period in different districts,” he said.
Even though medical workers have mild symptoms, they must be isolated for 10 days and cannot work in hospitals at a time when cases are “skyrocketing,” he added.
“It’s a serious problem that can ruin the health care system,” Rahmat said.