By Nicky Aulia Widadio
JAKARTA (AA) – At least 19 Indonesian doctors, some of them treating coronavirus patients, died in March, a doctors association said on Monday.
According to the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), few of the doctors who passed away had tested positive for the virus, while others were suspected and showed symptoms.
"We have compiled the data based on reports from our colleagues," IDI spokesman Halik Malik told Anadolu Agency.
However, he added, details regarding individual cases are yet to be discovered.
The IDI has formed an audit team to investigate, and analyze the risk factors faced by healthcare workers in the country.
"Some of the doctors were allegedly infected while treating COVID-19 patients," Malik said.
One of them was Dr. Ketty Herawati Sultana, who treated Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi at the Medistra Hospital in Jakarta.
Besides, at least six dentists also died of the virus, the spokesman said, adding that the number could be higher since the data had not been revealed by the government yet.
He urged the authorities to release official numbers, and ensure the availability of personal protective equipment not only in referral hospitals for COVID-19 but health facilities across the country.
He pointed out that some doctors in regions such as Tasikmalaya, Surabaya and Tana Toraja were forced to use raincoats due to shortage of the protective equipment.
The government has so far distributed nearly 349,000 protective equipment across the island nation.
Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 11 more deaths and 218 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total death toll to 209 and confirmed cases to 2,491.
Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a public health emergency over the pandemic, and announced an additional $24.7 billion spending to mitigate the impact.
He laid out strict social distancing measures, ordering the country's law enforcers to ensure implementation.
Although the measures were not referred as lockdown, schools and entertainment venues remain closed, and a work from home policy has been enforced nationwide.
Globally, the tally has crossed 1.28 million, and 70,000 deaths have been registered.