JAKARTA - Last month, in the early days of the COVID-19 case being officially recorded in Indonesia, we felt that we were citizens with the status of People Under Supervision (ODP) because of a number of clinical symptoms that we experienced. We have just written this story for several reasons, including the recovery process that we have to go through, of course. From the position of an ODP, we see the various problems in handling COVID-19 more clearly.
Monday, March 16th, we felt a sore throat. It feels itchy and hard to swallow. We were indifferent, at first. Then, Tuesday, March 17, on the first day of working from home as directed by the government, the fever suddenly came. We think this is just a symptom of the common cold. After all, we were still working at that time.
Then, Friday, March 20, we tried to go to the Bintara Jaya Community Health Center, West Bekasi, because we felt short of breath and had a wheezing cough. After checking the clinical condition, the doctor immediately established our status as ODP. Several medicines, ranging from fever-lowering, antibiotics, cough medicines, to vitamins were given to us.
In addition, the doctor also makes a referral letter for further examination. The follow-up tests are X-rays of the lungs and blood tests to find out more about our health condition. Next, Saturday, March 21, we visited the Friendship Central General Hospital (RSUP).
Unfortunately, when we arrived, it turned out that the testing service for people with symptoms of COVID-19 was closed. Information on the schedule to be open Monday-Friday at 08.00 WIB was not conveyed to us and some of the patients who came that day. In these circumstances, the accuracy of the information is of course important. We imagine that the crowd at the Friendship Hospital does not need to be there that day if people are well informed.
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Monday, March 23, we returned to the hospital which is eleven kilometers from our home. Our present paid off. Arriving at 06.30 WIB, we were rewarded with queue number 42. Not that bad. Because, every day Friendship Hospital only serves 130 examinations. If you can't find a queue, the prospective patient must come on another day.
When we got the number, we entered the tent covered in white tarpaulin. Inside, another prospective patient who had arrived earlier than us was also waiting. We had a chance to sit in the tent before we realized the sound of a sudden coughing that made us uncomfortable sitting. We finally chose to sit outside the tent in the Griya Puspa yard, Friendship Hospital.
At 08.00 WIB, officers came to the prospective patient's tent. There is no adequate personal protection worn by hospital officials. They only wore salted egg blue surgical robes and green headgear, the same color as the medical gloves that covered the officers' hands.
Before starting the examination of those who have registered, an officer invites an official of Friendship Hospital to talk and explain the flow of examination services that will be undertaken that day. "We need to convey that we primarily serve those with symptoms. But if there are no mild symptoms, we suggest going to the nearest health facility in the neighborhood, "he said aloud.
"So this hospital is a referral hospital. So we serve the examination of symptomatic patients. So, the examination is a physical examination by a doctor. Then, the doctor will suggest whether this needs an X-ray examination, laboratory or swab," he added.
The hospital official also explained the flow of checks through the queue number and filled out medical forms and medical records before paying to the cashier at the end of the flow. Payment was made in cash at a cost of Rp. 231 thousand, not including drugs that had to be redeemed. An officer said the payment could not be covered with the BPJS.
After completing the payment, those who will be examined must be patient waiting for a call to see a doctor. After consulting with the doctor, it will be decided whether further action is needed such as X-rays, blood tests, even swab tests or taking samples from the nasal and oral cavities for further tests using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method.
"Because we have to be examined by a doctor, and there are only two doctors, please be patient because it is impossible to serve hundreds at once. Please understand that there are two doctors in charge and will take turns. So that the 130 that we serve, please be patient, "said the hospital official. We caught the message overwhelmed.
Corona free certificate?
While sitting outside the tent while listening to the briefing, we saw some people come using cloth masks to cover their noses and mouths. They arrive after registration is closed. To officers, they asked about how to get a COVID-19 free certificate for the needs of the company where they work.
"I have no symptoms but I have to bring a corona free certificate. Can I check it here? " asked a man to one of the officers in the tent.
These kinds of questions come again and again and are asked by different people. Friendship Hospital finally responded. An officer picked up a loudspeaker and said that the Friendship Hospital did not issue such a certificate.
"Friendship Hospital does not issue a corona free certificate. Here only laboratory and radiological examinations. If indeed you are diswab and the results are positive, the Health Office will pick up you and you at home, ”said the official.
This incident made us aware of the handling of COVID-19 which was not well socialized. Not only for the community, but also for the professional world, especially companies. How come many companies do not really understand the need for a certificate that is free from COVID-19 or the corona virus for their employees.
The case for a COVID-19 free certificate was actually discussed by the spokesman for handling COVID-19, Achmad Yurianto. He said a COVID-19 free certificate would have no effect in anticipating the spread of this virus in Indonesia. Yuri, his nickname, even emphasized that this letter was of no use even though it had been obtained.
"No need, there is no point in a Corona virus-free certificate. There is no benefit, "he said some time ago.
Don't keep your distance
Waiting for the actual examination makes us a little worried, considering that many people do not understand the importance of maintaining distance or physical distancing, even when they are about to undergo a COVID-19 detection test at the Friendship Hospital. Although the officers often reminded the test takers to keep their distance from each other, in fact, many are still ignorant of these warnings.
In fact, several times we had to change our seats because we repeatedly got 'friends to sit' right next to our seats. After all, we were getting bored and tired of waiting. The awareness of maintaining distance is not easy to grow. In fact, an officer must give a stern warning to keep a distance of one meter to prospective patients who continue to approach him to ask questions.
“Don't get too close. Just talk from there. I heard. Maintain a distance!" said the officer before answering questions from prospective patients.
We often hear warnings about maintaining this distance. In fact, the government often says that the spread of COVID-19 continues to spread because people do not maintain a safe distance from other people. Through Yuri, the government even said that maintaining distance could be a solution to break the chain of spreading the corona virus.
"The key to solving this problem is in the midst of society. Maintain social distancing in communication. This is no longer an appeal, but this has been interpreted as an order that we must carry out together," Yuri said in his press conference.
It's not just a matter of keeping your distance. While we were waiting to enter the doctor's examination room there was an old man who was coughing and spitting casually. I don't know what this guy had in mind. In fact, if he is tested positive for COVID-19, it is not impossible, droplets or splashes of fluid from his body can transmit the virus to other people.
The chairman of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), Moh. Adib Khumaidi. According to him, the habit of spitting carelessly can increase the risk of spreading disease, including the spread of the corona virus or COVID-19.
"Do not spit carelessly, like a person riding a motorcycle and then spitting. There is also a way to cough, do not cough in front of friends," said Adib as quoted by Tempo.co.
Back to the examination questions that we are undergoing. Furthermore, after seeing the doctor and explaining what the complaint was, we were asked to undergo X-rays of the lungs and taking blood samples to be examined in the laboratory.
As for the swab test, the doctor said I didn't need it because I had never had any contact with a Patient Under Supervision (PDP) or anyone who tested positive for COVID-19. We conducted an examination with our doctor at around 11.30 WIB, five hours from the time we arrived at the Friendship Hospital.
The examination was continued by taking blood in the inner arm vein of the right hand. Then, we had to wait again for about 1.5 hours before finally doing X-rays of the lungs.
After carrying out all the examinations, finally, around 14.00 WIB we completed a series of tests for the initial detection of COVID-19 at the Friendship Hospital. It's just that the hospital can't give the results directly to us.
For the results we were required to return on Tuesday, March 24th. Luckily, we tested negative for COVID-19. However, we are still required to carry out self-isolation for 14 days, as recommended by the health protocol. And here we are now, writing this story to you.
Since the inspection we conducted at the end of March, many improvements have been made by the current authorities, including the provision of rapid tests and swab test kits that allow the examination of more than ten thousand people per day. However, matters that are also crucial have not been able to be handled by the authorities to this day. About raising public awareness, especially.
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