At least 647 health workers have succumbed to coronavirus in Indonesia since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, a doctors group said on Thursday.
Adib Khumaidi, a team leader at the Indonesian Medical Association, said in a press release that the number comprises 289 doctors, 221 nurses, 84 midwives, 27 dentists, 15 medical laboratory personnel, and 11 pharmacists.
Khumaidi claimed the country’s fatality rate for medical personnel is the highest in Asia, and among the top three in the world based on comparison of test statistics and population.
"From December 2020 to January 2021 we recorded 53 deaths," he said, attributing the high number of fatalities to increased people’s activity and mobility recently.
The official said the current coronavirus situation in the country is out of control, and yet to reach its peak, urging the government to boost testing capacity and contact tracing to quickly diagnose positive cases in the community, and break the chain of transmission.
The country of over 270 million is aiming to begin mass COVID-19 vaccination for citizens by mid-February, according to President Joko Widodo. Inoculation for health workers began on Jan. 13.
The Food and Drug Administration has so far only approved Chinese firm Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine for emergency use.
Agreements to purchase the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines have been finalized, while the government is also working on a deal for the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs.
Record increase in COVID-19 deaths
Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country confirmed a record 476 more COVID-19 deaths, pushing the nationwide tally to 29,331.
As many as 13,695 new infections over the last 24 hours brought the overall caseload to 1.037 million.
*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in JakartaAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.