Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – The government has committed to providing periodic COVID-19 tests for health professionals working closely with coronavirus patients.
"We commit to give protection to health workers, who have been a big help in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, by providing them with free periodic swab tests," National COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said at a daily press briefing on Tuesday.
He added that testing would start that day in Jakarta, the country's COVID-19 epicenter, and would later be extended elsewhere, especially to high-risk areas.
Wiku said hospitals had become the core of the outbreak as they were accommodating about 24,400 patients.
The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has been urging the government to provide better protection for medical workers.
The association noted that at least 114 doctors and nine dentists had died of the virus, in addition to at least 70 nurses, as reported by the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI).