Belseran Christ, Maluku – The Maluku provincial administration has temporarily closed Haulussy Hospital in Ambon after 25 medical staffers working in the facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Maluku COVID-19 task force head Kasrul Selang said on Monday that the Health Ministry's Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes) had sent more results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, in which three among them came back positive for healthcare workers in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the other 22 medical workers tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid tests, which had been administered on some 100 staffers in Haulussy, the oldest hospital in Maluku province.
"The 22 people comprise 17 nurses and five administrative staffers. The hospital has also sent swab samples has but yet to receive the results from the Ambon Environmental, Health and Technology Center (BTKL)," Kasrul said.
Maluku Health Agency head Meykal Pontoh said one of the three medical workers whose PCR tests came back positive was a doctor.
The hospital subsequently decided to suspend operations from May 11 to 24 to cut the chain of virus transmission, as well as to prevent patients and other medical workers from contracting COVID-19.
"We will halt services and stop activities at Haulussy Hospital for the next 14 days to sterilize the hospital," Kasrul said.
Hundreds of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus battle have tested positive for the virus across the country, amid reports of a shortage of protective gear and surging number of COVID-19 patients.
In the hardest-hit Jakarta, for instance, 174 medical staffers in a number of hospitals tested positive for the coronavirus as of April 11, while in Semarang, Central Java, some 46 workers at Dr. Kariadi General Hospital contracted COVID-19 after reportedly treating patients who had covered up their travel history to virus-hit regions.
Thirty-eight doctors and 17 nurses have died from COVID-19 since Indonesia announced its first two confirmed cases on March 2, according to government data. (aly)