Covid-19: Indonesia builds quarantine centers and receives help from other countries

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Facing an increasing number of coronavirus cases, the Indonesian governmet has expedited efforts to ready emergency hospitals and quarantine centers by constructing new buildings or reassigning existing ones, including former refugee camps and athlete hostels, against a worse-case scenario of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

As of April 3, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous nation of over 270 million, had reached 1,790, with 170 patients succumbing to the infection and 112 patients recovering from it.


Hundreds of hospitals across Indonesia have been assigned to function as referral hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, while several other buildings have been converted into emergency hospitals or quarantine centers.

The government has constructed major infectious disease observation and quarantine facilities as well as a research center at the former Vietnamese refugee camp of Galang Island, Batam City, Riau Islands Province.

The hospital’s construction work began on March 8, 2020, and the authorities plan to commence operations from April 6, 2020.

The Galang infectious disease hospital has 360 beds, 20 ICU isolation beds, and 30 non-ICU isolation beds.

The Galang Island facilities, divided into three zones, span 16 hectares. Zone A can accommodate employees, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers; Zone B includes the main building housing an isolation room with 20 beds and an observation building with 340 beds and laboratories; while Zone C is for non-ICU treatment, with 30 beds and observation rooms. The emergency hospital also has three helipads.

In addition to the Galang Island facilities, the government has converted two athlete hostels used to accommodate thousands of athletes during the Asian Games held simultaneously in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, in 2018.

The number of inpatients at the Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital located in Kemayoran, Jakarta, burgeoned to 449 as of April 2, from 432 on the previous day.

In Palembang, the Jakabaring Athlete housing center has been converted into an emergency hospital, with 369 rooms and some one thousand beds. Other towers will also be readied to accommodate more patients if needed.

Currently, 72 Indonesian migrant workers coming from Malaysia and Singapore were being quarantined in Jakabaring as ODP in the fight against COVID-19.

With tens of thousands of Indonesian migrant workers returning from abroad, particularly Malaysia, the government has put in place measures for them to firstly be quarantined to monitor their health.

Meanwhile, Indonesia also gets help from neighbouring country, Singapore. The Indonesian Government has received 10 thousand COVID-19 test kits and protective equipment from Singapore to aid efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Singaporean Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar handed over the assistance to Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian at the Home Affairs Ministry, here on Friday.

He said Singapore had earlier extended similar assistance to the Batam municipal government in Riau Islands Province, which borders Singapore.

“The assistance included ventilators, thermal scanners, masks, protective equipment, and protective gowns, all of which were handed over to the Batam municipal government,” he said.

The minister said he would hand over the COVID-19 test kits and protective equipment received from Singapore to the COVID-19 Response Task Force of the Health Ministry.

One of Pharmaceutical industry company provided donation to The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta, on Friday, April 3. The institute’s laboratory has received donation worth Rp10 billion from pharmaceutical firm PT Tempo Scan Pacific (TSPC) Tbk that will be channeled for intensifying COVID-19-related examination at its laboratory facilities.

The donated funds were received through the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Task Force for Accelerating COVID-19 Handling, Head of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology Amin Subandrio said.

The Eijkman Institute is one of those selected by the Indonesian government to assist the Health Ministry to detect harmful microbes and the novel coronavirus, he revealed, adding that the Eijkman Institute has, until now, examined nearly three thousand test samples.

Some 10 percent of those samples revealed positive results. The Eijkman Institute requires the support of various parties to enable it to double its laboratory capacity, he stated.

Moreover, help offer comes from the centre of the coronavirus outbreak country, where Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a telephonic conversation with his Indonesian counterpart President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday, April 2, pledged to assist Indonesia in containing the COVID- 19 epidemics.

Xi expressed concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus in the rest of the world, including Indonesia.

In observance of seven decades of diplomatic ties between China and Indonesia, Xi echoed China’s intent to continue to forge close cooperation with Indonesia in realizing the Belt and Road Initiative and deepening strategic partnership between both nations.

Xi further drew attention to the criticality of strong synergy among members of the international community to overcome the epidemic that has emerged as an enemy to mankind.

The chief of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) also called on Indonesia to work more closely with China to encourage the Group of Twenty (G20) and the international community to play their role in overcoming the global economic crisis.

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