Indonesia: Coronavirus Patient’s Family Smear Feces on Medic

Indonesian medics wearing face masks stand in front of an ambulance in Banda Aceh on March 2, 2020. - Indonesia on March 2 reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus, after health officials in the world's fourth-most populous country hit back at questions over its apparent lack of infected patients. …

An Indonesian health worker was smeared with fecal matter as he tried to retrieve a coronavirus patient from his home this week for medical treatment in East Java on Tuesday, Coconuts Jakarta reported.

The city of Surabaya organized Chinese coronavirus testing for residents of a local apartment complex on September 23. The results of the swab tests were released on September 28 and “included a possible coronavirus infection for an unnamed male resident who suffers from underlying health conditions,” according to the report.

The following day, city healthcare workers visited the apartment complex to pick up the coronavirus patient, evidently as part of a planned quarantine and treatment process. Upon arrival at the patient’s residence, however, the medics “encountered resistance from his wife and children,” the Indonesian news outlet revealed.

“They kept resisting, and then they did that (smeared excrement) on the healthcare worker’s hazmat suit,” Surabaya city administration spokesman Febriadhitya Prajatara told reporters on Wednesday.

A healthcare worker smeared with excrement when picking up a patient in Surabaya, East Java. Photo: Surabaya city administration

A healthcare worker smeared with excrement when picking up a patient in Surabaya, East Java. Photo: Surabaya City Administration

Despite the foul protest, the patient’s family eventually acquiesced, allowing the medical team to transport their relative to a local hospital. None of the people involved in the incident were criminally charged for their actions, according to the report.

News of the abusive attack on the East Java healthcare worker comes shortly after a report on Monday revealed that at least 123 doctors treating coronavirus patients in Indonesia have died from the virus since the country’s initial outbreak in March.

“The highest number of fatalities was recorded in the East Java province with 30 doctors,” Halik Malik, spokesman of the Indonesian Doctors Association, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

The association said it had recorded a significant rise in the number of doctors who died from coronavirus over the past two months. The group cited a recent spike in the number of new coronavirus cases nationally as a major contributing factor, explaining that “the high number of patients caused extreme fatigue among health workers, making them more vulnerable to the virus.”

Indonesia reported 4,174 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, increasing its total number of infections to 291,182, according to official government data. The country also reported 116 new deaths from the Chinese coronavirus on Thursday, increasing its total number of fatalities from the virus to 10,856, according to Indonesia’s health ministry.

Indonesia currently has the second-highest number of reported coronavirus cases among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with 291,182 infections.


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