Pharmacist Association points to 800 pharmacists exposed to COVID-19

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairperson of the Advance Pharmacist Division and the Indonesian Pharmacist Association, Prof Dr. Kerry Lestari Dandan, stated that some 800 pharmacists nationwide had until now been exposed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"We are updating the data. Some of them have recovered and are undergoing independent isolation, though some have died," Dandan remarked during an online discussion monitored in Jakarta on Tuesday.

However, Lestari realizes the fact that this is a form of the pharmacist's responsibility and service to the community, particularly in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is especially relevant in terms of guarding the use of drugs that is rational and proffers benefits for the community," she stated.

By and large, the Indonesian Pharmacists Association is tasked with providing drug services to health workers, especially the public, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drug delivery through health personnel is conducted either directly at pharmacies, hospitals, or at the community health center (Puskesmas). The Indonesian Pharmacists Association continues to strive to offer best service for the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she stated.

Currently, the Indonesian Pharmacists Association expressed concern over the standard operating procedures in the distribution of these drugs in order to avoid exposure to viruses.

Guidelines for services during the pandemic are also constantly conveyed from the central board to the regions to ensure continuity of services to health workers and people in need of medicines.

"Even under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, service guidelines are still implemented, so that pharmaceutical services continue to run well," he remarked.

As many as 115 Indonesian doctors have died of COVID-19 ever since the country reported the first confirmed COVID-19 case in March 2020.

The doctors comprised 57 general practitioners, 51 specialists, and seven professors, according to the updated data from the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) mitigation team for the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday.

By Friday (Sept 11), a total of 109 doctors succumbed to COVID-19. With the addition of six doctors succumbing to the virus, the number rose to 115, excluding dentists and nurses dying of the virus.

Chief of the IDI mitigation team Dr Adib Khumaidi, SpOT affirmed that the doctors were exposed to the virus while treating COVID-19 patients.

"The doctors were exposed to the virus while treating COVID-19 patients at treatment wards (isolation rooms and intensive care units) and taking medical action in connection with patients later found to have contracted COVID-19," he stated.

In addition, they were likely exposed to the virus through non-medical services, such as close contact with family members and other people, he remarked.

The data suggested that doctors ran a high risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Moreover, the number of asymptomatic carriers in Indonesia is high, he noted.

He urged the government to act firmly against violators of health protocols by imposing sanctions on them in accordance with Presidential Instruction No. 6 of 2020.

Source: Antara News

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