Doctor in Jakarta hospital battles to help Covid patients amidst ICU shortage

Small public hospitals in south Jakarta was not ready for the influx of COVID-19 patients who arrived after a surge of new infections in the world’s fourth-most-populous country,says Indonesian doctor.

Doctor Cheras Sjarfi has had to treat Covid patients but there lacks the life-saving ventilators and intensive care units they sometimes require.

The general practitioner said she knew it was getting bad when all the patients classified as suspected coronavirus cases tested positive within a week.

Grappling with the worst outbreak in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has reported record daily cases in seven of the past 11 days, including on Thursday, with 24,836 new infections and 504 deaths, both new highs.

Hospitals across Java are also nearly full with Covid patients.

“We receive the incoming patients as best as we can. Give them oxygen, check their blood pressure, and observe them,” she said.

“The worst case is they die here. I definitely feel sad even if I have seen people dying many times,” she also added.

She is working 12-hour shifts, double the normal length, after she said some of her colleagues were infected despite being fully vaccinated.

Indonesian authorities have announced new curbs starting Saturday, including tighter restrictions on movement and air travel, a ban on restaurant dining and closing non-essential offices.

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