Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The Indonesian government is set to provide more facilities to house asymptomatic coronavirus patients or those with mild symptoms to self-isolate, as the number of daily COVID-19 transmissions continues to hit new highs in the country.
"The government has prepared quarantine centers for those who test positive for COVID-19, with or without symptoms, so that no one will self-isolate at home," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
"It is important because self-isolation at home could result in the virus being transmitted to family members."
A number of one-star to three-stars hotels would be transformed into self-isolation centers, Jokowi added.
For Jakarta, particularly, the government had forged partnerships with a number of hotel groups such as Accor – which includes Ibis and Novotel hotels – Harris Hotels group and some others, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said.
"Two-star and three-star hotels in Jakarta can be used as self-isolation centers for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. There are 10 to 15 hotels with 1,500 rooms, or 3,000 capacity each," he said on Monday.
The number of hotels could be increased to 30, if necessary, Terawan said, adding that the partnering hotel groups had also agreed to provide self-quarantine facilities outside the capital city.
Other than hotels, the government also prepared two apartment towers of the former Kemayoran Athletes Village – now an emergency hospital for COVID-19 patients in Central Jakarta – as self-isolation centers in the capital city.
"Towers 4 and 5 of the Kemayoran athletes village are prepared as self-isolation facilities. Each tower has a capacity of 2,472 beds. Tower 4 has not yet been occupied, while only 81 beds in Tower 5 have been recently occupied," Terawan said.
The government also prepared 326 rooms with capacity to accommodate 653 people at the Health Ministry's training center in Ciloto, Cianjur regency, West Java.
The minister said they would transform some other training centers into quarantine centers as well, including those in Batam, Riau Islands; Semarang, Central Java; and Makassar, South Sulawesi.
National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo called for Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to stop using city-owned sports halls (GOR) as self-isolation centers since they had limited facilities, especially now that the central government aimed to provide comfort for COVID-19 patients who had to self-quarantine.
Doni also said that 20 out of 67 COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta had reached 100 percent occupancy.
"However, 47 other referral hospitals still have enough room at the ICU [Intensive Care Unit]. The Health Minister has also increased the capacity of ICUs in nearly 40 referral hospitals," he said.
As of Monday, Indonesia had recorded a total of 221,523 coronavirus infections nationwide. Jakarta – the country's outbreak epicenter – recorded an additional 879 new cases on Monday, bringing the total in the city to 55,099 infections so far.