Hospital patients make up largest COVID-19 cluster in Jakarta: Indonesia task force

Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force has identified more than a dozen clusters in Jakarta, with confirmed cases traced back to hospitals making up the majority, illustrating yet another worrying trend amid rising daily cases across the country. 

Dewi Nur Aisyah, an epidemiologist and expert staff at the task force said that the latest analysis of the COVID-19 data in the Greater Jakarta Area from June 4 to Sept. 12 showed 17 clusters, with the highest caseload attributed to hospital patients at 24,400 cases.

“Hospital patients include those who go for check-ups by themselves or those who visit health facilities. When we saw the numbers for the hospital patients cluster, it was still at 50 percent last week, but the number reached 63.46 percent by Sept. 12, so it has indeed increased,” Dewi said during a live broadcast today.

Dewi said that patients from the hospital clusters may not have actually been infected in the hospitals, meaning it’s possible that infection could have occurred beforehand

The second-largest cluster was traced back to local communities with 15,133 cases, which include families or friends of patients who were traced by Puskesmas (community clinics), followed by workplace clusters at 3,194 cases. Based on the data, the transmission of COVID-19 at workplaces is thought to have spread due to several factors, including contracting the disease during commuting, at home, as well as within the office.

The task force also identified several new clusters, such as nightlife spots with five cases, pesantren (Islamic boarding school) with four cases, and hotels with three cases. In addition, 25 cases had been traced back to wedding events. 

Jakarta restored strict Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) early last week, which basically is a return to the old PSBB at the beginning of the pandemic. Several restrictions have been put in place again, including closure of schools/colleges, house of worships, and offices ⁠— with the public required to once again work from home except those in essential sectors, such as food and health.

As of today, Jakarta has recorded 65,687 COVID-19 cases, the highest number among all provinces in Indonesia, with the national caseload at 257,388.

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