To minimise hospital visits in tandem with large-scale social distancing measures, the government of Indonesia has developed an application known as “hospital without walls” or telemedicine where people can undergo medical consultations online.
President Joko Widodo in a teleconference from the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday (13 April) said that the app can cater to those who do not require intensive care during this period.
“Not everyone should go to the hospital … Of course, there are [people] with light or medium symptom who should be brought to Wisma Atlet [quarantine place in Jakarta]. All hospitals should be aware of this.
“Then for those who need intensive care, they can be brought to any available hospital. While those who do not need intensive care, [they] can do self-isolation in their own home,” said Mr Joko.
Mr Joko also said that the development of the “hospital without walls” app separates Indonesia from other countries.
He added that technology companies are jointly cooperating with the Ministry of Health in developing the application, adding that the number of telemedicine users has increased significantly.
“I received reports that now, several technology companies for application development have applied and to cooperate jointly with the Ministry of Health. [The number of users], which previously was only 4 million, now has reached over 15 million people using this application. This is very good,” he said.
Mr Joko reiterated the importance of wearing masks and practicing strict physical distancing as well as self-isolation to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
“I believe it is extremely important to be reminded so that they understand well of what physical distancing is, or what self-isolation is. These will help to curb further spread of coronavirus,” said Mr Joko.
As of today (14 April), the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 4,839, with 426 people in recovery and 459 fatalities. The virus has spread to all 34 provinces in the country.