COVID-19: Indonesian nurses, ministers pay a tribute to fallen healthcare workers

COVID-19: Indonesian nurses, ministers pay a tribute to fallen healthcare workers

Terbaiknews - Nurses treat a COVID-19 patient at Bogor General Hospital in West Java on Sept. 3. (AFP/Adek Berry)

The Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) hosted an online gatheringTuesdayto honor medical workers who have lost their lives during the battle against COVID-19.

“Medical workers have vital roles in battling COVID-19. They don’t even know when to feel tired, even though they are supposed to be tired [from the relentless work],”PPNI chairman Harif Fadhillah said in Tuesday’s event, entitled Pray for Nurses.

“This event is to remember our friends who died because of the virus. We also want to honor their lives and provide a little solace to their families,” he added.

Given the fact that one nurse can provide medical care to tens of sick people, losing thousands of competent nurses would be a huge loss to the country, Harif said, suggesting the government give more protection to medical workers.

According to data recorded by the PPNI, 78 nurses nationwide have reportedly died from COVID-19.

“It’s already a huge loss to all of us, especially to the PPNI,” he said.

Read also: IDI urges better protection for medical workers as five more doctors die of COVID-19

Meanwhile, as of Sunday, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) had recorded 115 doctor deaths due to COVID-19.

Also speaking at the event, the state-owned enterprises minister and COVID-19 response and national economic recovery committee chairman, Erick Thohir, vowed to prioritize medical workers.

“If a COVID-19 vaccine is found, medical workers will be prioritized. It is part of the state’s strategy to provide total protection for medical workers,” he said.

He also said the government would come up with a better system in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, by involving doctors and nurses in the joint forces.

COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo also expressedhis condolences to the families of the victims.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the nurses, our heroes, who died in their duties,” he said.

Read also: COVID-19: Concerns mount as medical workers suffer pandemic burnout

He went on to say that the community-based Pentahelix circle — a model comprising businesspeople, the government, community, academics and the media — must be incorporated into the nation’s main strategy to curb the spread of the virus. “Nurses, doctors and medical workers should be the last fortress in battling this pandemic,” Doni added.

Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy and People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo also delivered their condolences to the families, calling medical workers heroes and applauding their efforts.