Coronavirus: Stark photos highlight plight of Indonesia’s doctors

Coronavirus: Stark photos highlight plight of Indonesia’s doctors

Aug 28, 2020

Photographs of a grieving woman bent over the coffin of her dead husband, an Indonesian doctor, have drawn attention to the high death toll of healthcare workers in the South-east Asian nation.

The photographs, taken at Wahidin Sudirohusodo hospital in Makassar, South Sulawesi, yesterday morning, have been widely shared on social media.

They show the wife, whose face is barely visible, dressed in a pink hazmat suit, gloves, and turquoise mask, alone as she rests her head on a white coffin.

The Indonesian medical association said the woman's husband, Dr Titus Taba, was the 94th Indonesian doctor to die from Covid-19.

Mr Halik Malik, spokesman for the association, said the limited amount of protective equipment, isolation rooms and low screening of patients had led to a high fatality rate among doctors.

"The number of doctors dying in Indonesia is still relatively high, even increasing in the past two months," he said.

Indonesia is grappling with one of the worst outbreaks of the virus in the region.

In India, a country with more than three times the population and more than three million cases, almost 200 doctors have died from Covid-19, the Indian Medical Association told local media early this month.

BIGGEST

Indonesia reported its biggest daily increase of infections yesterday, with 2,719 new cases.

It has recorded 162,884 cases and 7,064 deaths, the highest death toll in South-east Asia.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' health ministry yesterday reported 3,249 additional infections and 97 more deaths.

Total confirmed cases in the Philippines reached 205,518, the highest in South-east Asia, while deaths had increased to 3,234, about a quarter of which were recorded in the past 15 days.

Malaysia confirmed five new cases, which included three local transmissions and two imported cases.

This brings the total number of cases in the country to 9,296 since the outbreak began.

The death toll remains at 125. - REUTERS, THE STAR