Indonesia Uses Ship As Isolation Center Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

In Indonesia’s Makassar, one can easily see a vehicle boasting a flashing siren and a tag “Makassar COVID Hunter” on it pulling up to a ship that has been docked at a jetty. Masked COVID-19 patients board the boat. It is one of Indonesia’s recent COVID-19 isolation centres.

KM Umsini, a ship, would ply a route ferrying up to more than 2,000 passengers between the island cities of Indonesia. Due to the rising demands of isolation centres, it has now been turned into one for patients with mild or no symptoms, amid the increasing spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

More than 800 beds have been arranged, and 60 medical workers have been appointed to help coronavirus patients recover in this centre.

Indonesian ferry turns floating isolation centre for COVID-19 patients
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The mandate is that patients must spend at least 10 days in isolation. While in the isolation centre, the patients will undergo routine health check-ups and can exercise, listen to music, and participate in fishing from the ship deck.

Several patients have chosen to isolate themselves here because they consider this to be unique and a new concept in Makassar. Many patients have praised the location as it is far from the city and the risk of spreading the contagious virus is far lesser.

Indonesia, which is one of Asia’s worst-hit COVID-19 countries, has implemented restricted mobility on the islands of Java and Bali from the beginning of July.

This was done to curb the spread of the Delta variant and has since extended this to other areas with high infection rates.

Makassar has experienced a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases since early July. This has severely impacted the lives of about 8.8 million citizens in South Sulawesi province. Here’s where Makassar is situated.

Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto, Makassar Mayor, has said that for more than 3,000 people with COVID-19 self-isolating at home, contacts cannot be traced.

This is dangerous, and that is precisely why the floating isolation centre has been conceptualized and introduced on the Umsini ship to persuade Covid-positive patients to willingly enrol in the isolation facility.


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