Jakarta, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- At least 342 health workers have died due to Covid-19 since the start of the epidemic in Indonesia, one of the countries most affected by the novel coronavirus in Asia, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) said on Saturday.
In a statement, the association said that the figure includes 192 doctors, 136 nurses and 14 dentists, and called on people to take precautions to check the spread of the disease, which has already caused more than 564,000 infections and 17,479 deaths in the archipelago.
The number of health-worker deaths tripled in the first week of December, the it added.
Seventy-five percent of the nurses succumbing to Covid-19 were fulfilling their duties in the hospital treatment rooms, said Indonesian National Nurse Association chairperson Harif Fadhilah.
The statement also warned against conspiracy theories, fake information and virus deniers.
“We hope that if you are among those who do not believe in the existence of Covid, [you] do not sacrifice the safety of others with this distrust,” said Dr. Eka Mulyana from the Advocacy and External Relations Division of the PB IDI Mitigation Team.
In order to protect the economy, the Indonesian authorities have not applied any strict confinement measures.
Meanwhile, daily case numbers have soared in recent weeks reaching a peak of 8,300 infections on Thursday.
The Ministry of Health’s department of disease control and prevention said in November that the authorities have managed to secure the availability of vaccines for 9.1 million people.
The authorities aim to vaccinate 107 million people or 67 per cent of the population between the ages of 18 and 59 by the end of 2021. They will not vaccinate the older population until they are sure of the risks involved.
The government will prioritize access of vaccines to doctors, nurses, laboratory employees involved in Covid-19 treatment and diagnosis, and public officials such as police and military personnel.
The government hopes the vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac will obtain all necessary certifications by the end of January for emergency use, after which it will begin its immunization campaign.
Indonesia has also signed agreements with China’s Sinopharm and CanSino to begin supplying vaccines from this month, without specifying a date and pending approval from local authorities, while it also continues to develops its own vaccine. EFE-EPA