Bali to utilize hotels to treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

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

As concerns mount over the reported imminent shortage of hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients in Bali, Indonesian officials say asymptomatic patients will be treated at some of the island’s hotels.

“Governor [Wayan Koster] said Bali is preparing hotels to treat asymptomatic and recovered patients, which will surely reduce the [potential] of overcapacity in hospitals,” Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said. 

Dozens of hospitals designated to treat coronavirus patients in Bali are reportedly running out of space, as the province has been recording more than 100 fresh cases daily for about two weeks now. As of yesterday, Bali has confirmed 7,226 COVID-19 cases.

Bali currently has 55 hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients, which reportedly hold 778 hospital beds in total. According to a stat from last Tuesday, 668 people were hospitalized for the disease, when the total number of cases stood at 6,549.

It’s not yet clear which hotels have been picked to isolate asymptomatic patients should the province go ahead with the plan.

According to Airlangga, a similar approach has been adopted elsewhere in the country, including in Jakarta and South Sulawesi. 

Meanwhile, Bali’s COVID-19 task force secretary, Made Rentin, said the province utilized hotels at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, and agreed that they ought to implement it again at this point in the public health crisis. 

“Yes, we agree [to implement the approach], because Bali previously implemented isolation for COVID-19 patients in a number of hotels. That’s during the early days of COVID-19,” Rentin said, noting that early cases were under control because infected patients were staying in a concentrated area. 

However, Rentin said the approach was later revised by the Health Ministry, allowing infected patients to self-quarantine at home. 

Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati last week said that local transmissions have escalated from household clusters and traditional ceremonies, wherein asymptomatic cases surged among young adults and later infecting the elders in their homes.

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