64 healthcare workers in Bali test positive for coronavirus: official

A healthcare worker carrying out a rapid test. Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Health
A healthcare worker carrying out a rapid test. Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Health

More than sixty healthcare workers in Bali have been infected with the coronavirus, officials said, suggesting that many were exposed while handling unconfirmed COVID-19 patients who initially came in with different concerns.  

I Ketut Suarjaya, who heads the Bali Health Agency, said there are a total of 64 healthcare workers who have been confirmed as COVID-19 patients as of June 22. 

“Some of them got infected because they did not know the patients’ COVID-19 status, and they attended to them. Such as patients who come in with dengue fever symptoms, and therefore there’s a lack of preventive measure and leading to them being infected,” Suarjaya said

It appears that there’s a lack of preventive measures, such as face shields, masks and gloves, among healthcare workers who aren’t specifically treating COVID-19 patients, with Suarjaya suggesting that they ought to follow protocols as laid out by the World Health Organization (WHO) when treating patients. In addition, he said patients should undergo rapid tests or PCR tests before receiving medical treatment. 

In Tabanan regency, a patient under observation for COVID-19 allegedly withheld his status while getting treatment at a local private hospital, which led to at least three healthcare workers testing positive for the coronavirus.  

“We are calling on [patients] to not do such a thing, we must be honest about our conditions and our travel history,” Nyoman Suratmika, who heads the Health Agency in Tabanan, said. 

Meanwhile, Ganesha Hospital said 18 of their healthcare workers recently tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting temporary closure of four units of their medical services for the next two weeks. 

Bali reported 42 additional COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the provincial tally to 1,158. While the caseload was initially dominated by imported cases, local transmissions now make up nearly 70 percent of all cases on the island. 

 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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