Assisting Medical Personnel Amid Pandemic Disease

The medical personnel are at the forefront in helping the COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, they are in dire need of more personnel and PPE as the number of confirmed cases climbs.

A medical officer at RSUD dr. Soeselo Tegal Regency uses a plastic raincoat in the ED isolation room, Wednesday (3/18). Plastic raincoats are forced to be used to treat Covid-19 patients because PPE that meets WHO standards starts to run out. (GATRA / Farid Firdaus)

ACTNews, JAKARTA - "I am afraid I cannot answer, I am exhausted," said Dr. Fariz Nurwidya on Tuesday (3/17), reported by CNBC Indonesia. Dr. Fariz has been resting for several days because after busy treating the COVID-19 patients.

Medical workers are now in the spotlight. They dedicate themselves to treating the COVID-19 patients whose number continues to grow daily. Dr. Handoko Gunawan was one of the doctors who dedicated himself to treat the patients. The dedication of this 80-year-old doctor went viral as he continued treating the COVID-19 patients at Graha Hospital, Kedoya, West Jakarta despite his old age.

Dr. Handoko finally fell ill and is hospitalized. Reported from, Doctor Handoko's condition has now gradually improved. People are encouraged to appreciate the hard work of Dr. Handoko Gunawan by not taking COVID-19 lightly.

"Don't waste the sacrifice of Dr. Handoko Gunawan," said Dyah Agustina Waluyo as Secretary of the COVID-19 Task Force for the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) on Wednesday (3/18). Dyah invited the public to seriously follow the government's advice in maintaining social distance and not to get out as much as possible. "If people take it lightly, no matter how many hospitals, doctors, and nurses are prepared, it will not be enough," she continued.

Dyah also requested that medical workers currently on duty be protected. At this dire time, the amount of equipment and tools needed to treat the patients becomes very limited.

ACT volunteers spraying disinfectant in one of the mosques in Mataram, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara on Thursday (19/3). (ACTNews)

"He is a great doctor. Actually, all doctors and health workers are now as great as he is. We ask that these medical workers be protected. We are aware of the responsibilities of our profession. Please prioritize the safety and security of their work. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is thinning. Even masks are difficult to find. It is needed by all health facilities," said Dyah.

The same thing was expressed by Doctor Fariz. To CNBC Indonesia, he asked the public to spread the information about the conditions experienced by medical workers in the fight against this disease.

"Please tell all your colleagues, these medical workers need prayer and support. All are exhausted and began to be laid off one by one," he said. This extraordinary exhaustion is caused by the lack of available resources, both in terms of workers, facilities, and tools for the treatment of patients. "We lack personnel, ventilators, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)," said Fariz.

Because of the PPE scarcity, these doctors even lacked masks to protect them. Despite their frequent contact with the patients, they lack proper protection for themselves

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) continues to support medical workers who are at the forefront in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Muhammad Riedha Bambang, ACT’s Corona Crisis Center Coordinator, expressed his support for launching of ACT’s humanitarian vehicles this Thursday (3/19).

"We will not forget our colleagues who work in every hospital: doctors, nurses and so on that we will continue to keep you together. We will continue to support, and don't panic at the community. We will make peace until the end of this pandemic, "said Riedha.

ACT will assist the medical workers by preparing the PPE equipment they need. "We will procure masks, wearpack gowns, and googles to be donated to health workers in hospitals. We also plan to provide Humanity Food Trucks to hospitals as a form of support for medical workers and the patients' families," said Doctor Riedha.

Assistance will also be given to other elements of the society. In addition to continuing to distribute masks, spraying disinfectants in public spaces and educating the public about the prevention of COVID-19, ACT will prepare 1,000 tons of food and distribute them to various affected areas through volunteers and humanitarian vehicles. This assistance comes through ACT programs such as the Waqf Food Barn, Waqf Rice Barn and Waqf Water Barns.

Until Wednesday (3/18), there were 227 COVID-19 cases in Indonesia. The number of deaths reached 19, exceeding the number who recovered at 11 people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of the COVID-19 in Indonesia is currently the highest. The figure is even twice as high as the world’s average CFR, which is 8.37% from an average of 4.07%. []