Dhe elementary school teacher Susi Johannes no longer remembers how she was admitted. She had already lost consciousness when her husband and a friend took her to the hospital in western Jakarta on a motorcycle. “I found it hard to breathe. My chest felt so heavy, as if someone had put a stone on it, “reports the 52-year-old Covid-19 patient to the FAZ from the hospital.
Her family had previously tried in vain to get a bed for her in several Jakarta’s hospitals. Shortly after her positive test result in mid-June, she was admitted once, but was then released. A few days later, her condition worsened and the level of oxygen in her blood dropped to dangerously low levels. “I’ve never experienced an illness like this,” says the Indonesian, who suffers not only from lung pain but also from fever and headache.
Corona nightmare like in India
In the end, she was lucky because she knew someone who worked at the Cengkareng State Hospital and could accommodate her there. The conditions there were, however, appalling. An emergency tent to take care of corona patients was already set up in the parking lot in front of the hospital. At the beginning, the woman lay with about 20 other patients in a hospital corridor that the doctors had converted into an intensive care unit. “It was chaotic. The patients howled in pain, ”reports the Indonesian. The corridor also led directly to the hospital morgue, so she had to watch the paramedics bring the newly deceased there almost every hour. A few days later she was transferred to a ward room with five other patients. It was a little better there, her condition stabilized.
What Susi Johannes reports is happening to many people in Indonesia these days. The country with 270 million inhabitants is currently experiencing a corona nightmare similar to the one that hit India a few weeks ago. The number of new infections every day reached a high of 31,189 on Tuesday. In May there were only 6,000 detected cases per day. As in India, the delta variant of the coronavirus has also led to the rapid increase in the number of cases in Indonesia. According to the government, it is suspected in 90 percent of infections in Jakarta. In the capital, the number of funerals under Covid-19 measures has increased tenfold since the beginning of May. People die in parking lots, in cars and in their homes because no hospital accepts them.
While the numbers continue to fall in India, the Indonesian capital Jakarta in particular is in a mood of catastrophe. The newspapers predict the collapse of the health system. In the streets of the megacity, which are half empty due to the tightened corona measures, the sirens of the ambulance echo. A few days ago there was a video on the Internet that showed the body of a man who had lain in front of his house in a poor district in northern Jakarta for twelve hours. As it later turned out, he had tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks earlier. According to the police, it was due to the overload of the authorities that the body could not be picked up earlier.