Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – As health workers across the country are dealing with dwindling medical supplies because of the recent surge of COVID-19 patients, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the government would provide financial incentives, on top of protective gear, to ensure their safety and security while they do their jobs.
The government is to provide a Rp 15 million (US$886.79) incentive to medical specialists, Rp 10 million to physicians and dentists, Rp 7.5 million to nurses and Rp 5 million to other medical staff members, he added.
"We will also provide a total of Rp 300 million for compensation in case of death. This is applies to regions that have declared a state of emergency," Jokowi said on Monday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a massive strain on Indonesia's healthcare system. There are reports of inadequate medical supplies and the deaths of hospital workers as patient numbers continue to surge.
An ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist from Bekasi, West Java, died on Saturday at Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta. Another doctor, a 34-year-old neurologist, died at the same hospital in the early hours of Sunday. A 70-year-old surgeon from Bogor, West Java, died at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital in Central Jakarta on Saturday.
"I would like to offer my deepest condolences over the passing of the doctors, nurses and health workers. They have dedicated their energy to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. On behalf of the government, the country and the people, I would like to thank them for their hard work," the president added.
The government distributed 105 pieces of protective health equipment on Saturday to hospitals across the archipelago. Medical aid from China arrived in Jakarta on Monday morning as part of government-to-government cooperation.
As of Sunday, Indonesia recorded 514 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 48 fatalities. (rfa)