Bandung and Jakarta – COVID-19 hospitals in Bandung, West Java, are running out of beds with at least 88.6 percent of bed capacity already occupied.
Bandung City secretary Ema Surmana said that the occupancy had skyrocketed compared with two months ago when it was still at 32.5 percent.
Bandung has a total of 704 beds for COVID-19 patients spread across 27 hospitals in the province's capital.
Ema said that she had ordered Bandung district heads to establish isolation facilities in their areas for COVID-19 patients with light symptoms.
"We cannot reject anyone from outside the city just because of the health facility situation [lack of COVID-19 beds]," Ema said on Wednesday.
Bandung had recorded a total of 2,689 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, with 2,219 recoveries and 107 fatalities.
The highest spike in COVID-19 cases in Bandung was on Nov. 17 and 18, with 144 and 146 new cases reported, respectively – the highest since March.
Bandung Health Agency head Rita Verita said that residents should implement strict health protocols including by isolating guests coming from red zones, or areas with high infection rates.
She said that homeowners must enforce the health protocols indiscriminately even if the guests in question were close relatives.
"Most of the cases also arose from guests that came from red zones," Rita said.
Some hospitals in Bandung have also increased the number of COVID-19 beds to anticipate an increasing number of patients.
Bandung Maternity and Pediatric Hospital (RSKIA) has increased the number of beds to 26 units, from the previous 16, in its isolation facility. The hospital has plans to increase the number of beds to 52.
The hospital's director, Taat Tagore, said that the isolation rooms were located on the eighth and 11th floors of the hospital. About 17 adult patients and four infants were being treated there.
Hasan Sadikin General Hospital planning, organization and general director Muhammad Kamaruzzaman said that the hospital's COVID-19 beds were 89 percent full.
"From Nov. 12 we oversaw a significant increase [of COVID-19 patients], so we have to evaluate the availability of our isolation facilities," Kamaruzzaman said.He said that the hospital usually received COVID-19 patients with health complications and moderate to critical pre-existing conditions as the hospital was the regular referral hospital for patients with severe conditions in Bandung.
Hasan Sadikin Hospital has up to 124 beds for COVID-19 patients. Some 108 beds are in four floors in the hospital's Kemuning building, seven are in the intensive care unit, four in Kemuning's special isolation facility, while five are in the emergency unit.
Kamaruzzaman said that the hospital treated 106 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday. "We hope that there will be no more [COVID-19] patients admitted here," he said.
He also urged other hospitals in Bandung to apply an online referral system before sending a patient to Hasan Sadikin Hospital to determine the emergency status of the said patient.
"We try to be selective with asymptomatic [or with light symptom] patients, who are capable of being treated at other hospitals," Kamaruzzaman said. (adi/ami)