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‘We didn’t know’: Bali authorities in the dark as COVID-19 patient dies on resort island

first_imgA 53-year-old foreign woman holidaying in Bali became Indonesia’s first COVID-19 fatality on Wednesday, but local authorities were only informed after her death that she had tested positive for the disease.The Health Ministry had identified the woman as Case 25 in a press conference on Tuesday evening but neglected to inform Bali’s provincial administration.”Today, early in the morning, at 2:45 a.m., a foreign national under observation at Sanglah Hospital died,” the chairman of Bali’s COVID-19 task force, Dewa Made Indra, said at a press conference in Denpasar on Wednesday. Yurianto previously said the ministry would stick with its policy of not announcing where confirmed cases were being treated or what country foreign patients were from.Both the Health Ministry and the Bali administration declined to reveal the patient’s nationality, but British media have reported that she was from the United Kingdom. A British Foreign Office statement received by The Jakarta Post said the office was “supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia” but stopped short of confirming that the woman was Case 25.A Flourish survey visualizationDewa said that Case 25 had a history of chronic illness, including diabetes, high blood pressure as well as pulmonary disease. He said that, despite not knowing that the patient had tested positive for COVID-19, she had received the same treatment a COVID-19 patient would have received. “[She was treated like a COVID-19] patient because her symptoms were similar to those of the disease and she was under observation,” he said.Dewa said the patient had been cremated at around 12:30 p.m. local time in Mumbul, Badung.”Because the patient was under observation for COVID-19, her body was handled according to the procedures for handling infectious diseases,” he added.According to the Bali Health Agency, Case 25 arrived on the island on Feb. 29 and was admitted to a private hospital after complaining of fever on March 3. After her condition failed to improve, she was taken to Sanglah Hospital on March 9.The Health Ministry said Case 25 was an imported case – meaning she is not believed to have contracted the virus in Indonesia – but has declined to say where she arrived from.Dewa said his task force had traced the 21 people who had close contact with her and told them to go into self-imposed quarantine. The husband of the deceased, who accompanied her on the trip, is under observation.So far, according the Bali Health Agency, 48 people have been observed for COVID-19 in the province. Thirty-eight have tested negative and been discharged, while nine others, all foreigners, are still under observation and waiting for their test results.As of Wednesday, Indonesia has confirmed 34 COVID-19 cases in the country. Topics : Dewa, who is also the secretary of the Bali administration, said the administration had not received any information on the patient’s test result until local officials called the Health Ministry themselves after the patient’s death.”Because this patient died in the isolation room, under observation, we tried to get confirmation from Jakarta. We hadn’t received her laboratory test results yet,” he said. “[After calling the ministry,] we were told that the patient who died was Case 25, who was announced as COVID-19 positive yesterday.”Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto explained that, once a patient’s test result came back, the ministry would inform the doctor in charge.“Once the lab says the test is positive, the doctor is immediately informed and the doctor informs the patient,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “Whether the doctor communicates [the results] to the regional administration is another matter.”last_img read more

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Staple food imports arriving in May to safeguard stocks, prices: Airlangga

first_img“The trade minister has told me some garlic [imports] have started to enter [Indonesia],” Jokowi said on April 2.But as producing countries are currently under quarantine, some imports have been delayed. The State Logistics Agency (Bulog), the government’s agency tasked with securing the national staple food stocks, reported delays regarding its beef imports from India, the world’s second-largest exporter.As the country is currently observing the peak of harvest season, the government is also relying on national stocks for some staple foods. Rice supply, for example, is estimated to exceed the demand by 8.3 million tons between March and May without imports, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry.“With harvest season taking place, we hope rice stocks will be enough for the days leading up to Idul Fitri,” said Airlangga, who also serves as the Golkar Party’s chairman. “Likewise, we are expecting enough stocks of corn and onions since some regions such as Brebes [in Central Java] are in harvest season.”Airlangga went on to say the government was mulling over a plan to offer incentives to farmers so they would still go out to the field.Topics : Food prices, which rose by around 6 percent year-on-year, were the primary driver of inflation between January and March, according to data released on April 1 by Statistics Indonesia (BPS).The average price of garlic, for example, rose 50 percent year-on-year to Rp 44,900 (US$2.87) per kilogram in March, according to the government’s staple food prices tracker, the Information Center for Strategic Food Price (PIHPS). The average price of sugar similarly rose 26 percent annually to Rp 16,650 per kilogram last month.As a response, the Agriculture Ministry issued a recommendation for businesses to import over 450,000 tons of garlic as of last month. Furthermore, the Trade Ministry issued a regulation suspending the requirement for import permits to procure staple foods from overseas until June 30.With the planned imports and production at home, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said earlier this month the government was expecting food prices to decline. For example, he was expecting the average price of garlic to fall to a range between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 per kilogram and sugar to Rp 12,500 per kilogram. The government expects imports of staple foods to arrive in May in order to ensure not only enough supplies but also stable prices as demand is likely to surge during Ramadan and Idul Fitri, which will start on April 24.“The government has issued import permits for garlic, chili, beef, chicken meat and sugar and they will arrive in enough volume to anticipate Idul Fitri,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartato told an online briefing on Tuesday.With Ramadan and Idul Fitri approaching amid the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, the government was facing logistical issues caused by measures to contain the coronavirus on top of price volatility, which was already taking place even before the virus hit.last_img read more