No need yet for trucks to carry Jakarta’s deceased COVID-19 patients: officials

A truck repurposed to carry deceased COVID-19 patients in a simulation in Jakarta. Photo: Jakarta Provincial Government
A truck repurposed to carry deceased COVID-19 patients in a simulation in Jakarta. Photo: Jakarta Provincial Government

Jakarta’s deceased COVID-19 patients are still transported on ambulances, not trucks, the provincial government said, as rumors spread suggesting that bigger vehicles are required amid rising COVID deaths in the city.

The rumors spread after photos of a truck marked “deceased transportation vehicle” were widely shared on social media this week, with netizens saying it was proof that the death rate from COVID-19 in the capital has gotten so far out of control that transporting one deceased patient at a time using ambulances has become inefficient.

It turned out that the photo was taken by the Jakarta Provincial Government itself when it carried out a worst-case scenario simulation for handling deceased COVID-19 patients, as confirmed by the city’s Parks and Forestry Agency, which manages cemeteries.

Jakarta Vice Governor Ahmad Riza “Ariza” Patria said today that the trucks have yet to be utilized because the city still has enough ambulances at the moment.

“No deceased is being transported by truck. All of the COVID deceased are being transported using ambulances,” Ariza said.

“I am certain that even if the daily death rate is high — yesterday it exceeded 50 — there are still more than 50 ambulances in Jakarta. Our friends, myself, political parties, we all have ambulances. Those can all be used, not to mention [the ambulances belonging to] hospitals, community clinics.

“[The trucks] are for when ambulances are overwhelmed. To this day, ambulances in Jakarta are prepared to transport deceased COVID-19 patients.”

Related — Deceased COVID-19 victim left in front of his house in Jakarta due to long burial queue

Jakarta regularly records under 50 deaths per day due to COVID-19, but saw an all-time high of 71 deaths on June 22. It must be noted, however, that there may be more COVID-19 deaths not officially documented as such considering the overwhelming spike in the number of burials since the pandemic began. Officially, 8,057 people have died due to COVID-19 in Jakarta as of June 23.

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