COVID-19 kills elderly, haunts the young in Indonesia

first_imgAs Indonesia continues to report hundreds of new COVID-19 cases daily, the government appears to be preparing for the “new normal” by allowing people aged 44 years and below to work outside their homes despite mobility restrictions to contain the epidemic.COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo triggered criticism after he said last week that the age group in question had a lower fatality rate at 15 percent and was less vulnerable than the elderly. Even so, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir issued a circular days later, setting out an example of a “new normal” scenario that entails a plan to allow SOE employees under 45 years of age to return to their offices starting on May 25, albeit with several precautions. The above figures do not include hundreds of fatalities among suspected patients reported by local administrations.Soedarsono, the senior pulmonologist and the head of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases at the COVID-19 referral hospital Dr. Soetomo in Surabaya, East Java, said fatalities were indeed more common among the elderly with comorbidity factors, but there had also been cases of young adults with such factors succumbing to the disease.”Young patients aged between 30 and 40 years have died as well, mostly because of underlying health conditions. Young people without such conditions have a higher chance of recovering. The most common conditions are hypertension, heart disease and diabetes,” he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.Read also: COVID-19: Govt to allow people under 45 to work outside to prevent more layoffsSome patients with such conditions might develop complications, and treating these complications was often difficult even after they were cleared of the virus, Soedarsono said.The task force’s data collected from 585 patients show that half of them had underlying conditions, such as hypertension (52.9 percent), diabetes (33.8 percent) or heart disease (20.5 percent). Others include pulmonary and respiratory diseases, cancer, asthma, immune disorders, liver disease and tuberculosis.Around 20.9 percent of the patients with hypertension died, while the death rate for those with diabetes is 15.9 percent, for those with heart disease is 10.1 percent and for those with other conditions in question is below 5 percent.Noncommunicable diseases account for the largest burden on Indonesia’s deficit-stricken National Health Insurance (JKN) — being the cause of 66 percent of morbidity and mortality in 2015, up from about 37 percent in 1990, according to a 2016 World Bank report.While the prevalence of the noncommunicable diseases is indeed higher among the elderly than other age groups, as shown by the 2018 Basic Health Survey (Riskesdas), a growing number of younger people are suffering from such diseases. They were at a heightened risk when exposed to the coronavirus, said epidemiologist Dicky Budiman.Read also: ‘Puskesmas’ move up to COVID-19 front lines amid overburdened health systemThe Riskesdas shows that the prevalence of hypertension in the 35-44 age group is 31.6 percent, in the 25-34 age group it is 20.1 percent and in the 18-24 age group it is 13.2 percent. The prevalence of diabetes and heart disease among the 35-44-year olds is 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.”The government’s policy to allow people [below] 45 years to work should not apply generally to everyone in that age group. Not everyone in the age group will be safe [if infected],” Dicky said.The stigma surrounding COVID-19, which was “almost worse than with HIV”, coupled with inadequate testing, would likely affect how people sought help, forcing them to only show up at hospitals when it was already too late to treat them, he said.Indonesia has seen 1,148 fatalities in less than three months since it recorded the first two confirmed cases in early March. The tally of confirmed cases rose to 17,514 nationwide on Sunday.Pulmonologist Soedarsono said he believed there were many undetected cases, given the considerably high fatality rate. He cautioned against complacency among young people as even medical professionals still had much to learn about the new virus.He said his teaching hospital was beginning to study possible blood clotting in COVID-19 patients, including in younger people, after studies in several countries found that some patients had developed dangerous blood clots.”With COVID-19 patients, oftentimes there’s incompatibility between patients’ complaints and analyses of lungs, thorax or blood tests. This sometimes makes doctors wonder,” he said.Topics : Data updated daily by the task force show that people aged 60 and above account for 44.2 percent of the deaths as of Sunday, followed by people aged between 46 and 59 years old at 39.8 percent, while those aged 45 and below make up the remaining 16 percent.This is despite data on the distribution of cases showing that the 60-and-above age group only accounts for 16.2 percent of total infections, while the 46-to-59 group accounts for 28.7 percent and those aged 45 and below contribute the majority at 55.1 percent.The task force said no clear age information was available for 9.3 percent of the infected patients.last_img read more

50 dead in Japan floods as rescuers ‘race against time’

first_img‘Filled with water’Fourteen of the dead were wheelchair-bound residents of a nursing home unable to escape to higher ground as the waters rose.A rescue worker who searched the facility told NHK: “The ground floor was filled with water and we couldn’t get into it. Some people managed to evacuate to the first floor. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life.”Further complicating evacuation efforts was the fear of spreading the coronavirus.Japan has been relatively lightly affected by the pandemic, with just under 20,000 cases and fewer than 1,000 deaths.But the need to maintain social distancing has reduced capacity at evacuation shelters with hundreds of thousands under non-compulsory orders to take refuge.In Yatsushiro city, authorities converted the local sports gymnasium into a shelter, with families separated off by cardboard walls to prevent the spread of the virus.According to local media, some people were preferring to sleep in their cars rather than risk possible infection at a shelter.The disaster has also compounded problems for businesses already hard hit by the pandemic.”The damage was beyond our imagination. It’s literally a bolt from the blue,” said Yuji Hashimoto, who runs a tourism bureau in the hot-spring resort in Yatsushiro, one of the flood-hit cities in Kumamoto.”The disaster is a double-whammy as our hot spring resort was struggling to weather the impact of coronavirus. We don’t know what will happen to us next,” he told AFP.The rain front is expected to linger for several more days, moving towards east Japan.”Vigilance is required across the nation… the risk level is rising,” warned a JMA official.Japan is in the middle of its annual rainy season, which frequently unleashes deadly floods and landslides. Climate change has intensified the risks, because a warmer atmosphere holds more water, including rainfall.In 2018, more than 200 people died in devastating floods in the same region of Japan. Topics : Emergency services in western Japan were “racing against time” on Tuesday to rescue people stranded by devastating floods and landslides that have killed at least 50 people, with more torrential rain forecast.Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its second-highest emergency warning for heavy rain and landslides over vast swathes of the country’s southwest and said “risks are rising” nationwide.At least 50 deaths have been confirmed in the rains that began early Saturday, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, but the toll is expected to rise, with two more feared dead and over a dozen reported missing. At an elementary school in Omuta city, dozens of children and their teachers spent the night sheltering on the upper floor of the building after floodwater inundated the ground level.”Shoe cupboards on the group floor were swept away and shoes were floating around,” an 11-year-old girl told a local newspaper after rescuers arrived.”Some children were sobbing because they were worried about not being able to get home and were afraid of the heavy rain.”Kentaro Oishi, who owns a rafting business in the hot springs resort of Hitoyoshi City, told AFP that emergency services drafted him in to rescue stranded locals.”I have 20 years of rafting experience, but I never dreamed” of rowing the boat through the city, the veteran paddler told AFP.”To tell you the truth, I was so scared at first when I saw the water levels rising so rapidly in the river.” “We are racing against time,” Yutaro Hamasaki, an official in the hardest-hit region of Kumamoto, told AFP.”We have not set any deadline or time to end the operation, but we really need to speed up our search as time is running out. We won’t give up to the end,” Hamasaki vowed.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was doubling the deployment of rescue personnel, including police and firefighters as well as coast guards and troops, to 80,000.Rivers overflowing their banks have swept away bridges and turned roads into lakes, making rescue access possible only by raft or helicopter.last_img read more

SEVERAL PEOPLE INJURED IN CAR CRASH

first_imgGARDAI say a number of people have been hurt in a car crash on the Killygordon to Stranorlar Road.“No-one has been seriously injured but the road will remain closed while our investigations continue,” said a spokesman.The incident came after torrential rain all day made roads treacherous in places.  SEVERAL PEOPLE INJURED IN CAR CRASH was last modified: June 21st, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more