June 18, 2024


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From athlete’s village to hotel, Indonesian government prepares makeshift facilities for COVID-19

JAKARTA: Buildings in Indonesia are being converted to makeshift facilities for the COVID-19 pandemic, as the government scrambles to deal with a growing number of cases.

On Monday (Mar 23), President Joko Widodo visited Jakarta’s 2018 Asian Games Athlete’s Village in Kemayoran, which has been turned into an emergency makeshift hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

Speaking at the venue, Mr Widodo said he believes the facility will be ready to treat patients starting Monday afternoon.

“The athlete’s village has a total capacity of 24,000 people and is currently being prepared for patients, doctors, and paramedics,” the president said.

“I also saw that the infrastructure is ready, both for the patients’ rooms and the ventilators … personal protective equipment is also ready … I hope this coronavirus emergency hospital is not used. This means that the existing hospitals (in Jakarta), which we have prepared well in advance, are able to handle this coronavirus.”

(ks) Jakarta's COVID-19 makeshift hotel

The makeshift hospital can take up to 3,000 COVID-19 patients. (Photo: Presidential Secretariat Press Bureau / Muchlis Jr)

The athlete’s village comprises 10 towers, and at the moment the makeshift hospital is ready to ward about 2,500 to 3,000 patients. They will be treated in towers six and seven.

Depending on need and readiness, more towers could be converted into medical facilities.

COVID-19 patients who show mild and moderate symptoms will be treated at the hospital after being seen by a referral doctor or hospital.

Those with severe conditions would still be treated at referral hospitals, said the authorities.

READ: Indonesians seek to get tested for COVID-19 as tally rises; govt says unnecessary to test everyone

The makeshift hospital is equipped with medication, personal protective equipment, a high-speed telecommunication network, isolation rooms, observation rooms, laboratories, radiology rooms, and intensive care units.


The athlete’s village is not the first building to have been converted into a COVID-19 facility.

(ks) Athlete's village room

COVID-19 patients who display mild and moderate symptoms will be treated at Jakarta’s 2018 Asian Games Athlete’s Village which has been turned into a makeshift COVID-19 hospital. (Photo: Presidential Secretariat Press Bureau / Muchlis Jr)

Over the weekend, privately owned hotel ‘The Media Hotel and Towers’ in Jakarta was handed over to the COVID-19 task force.

The five-star hotel will be used to house COVID-19 paramedics so that they spend less time commuting and minimise contact with society.   

There are also discussions to convert other buildings owned by state-owned enterprises into makeshift buildings.

READ: COVID-19: Concerns among some Indonesian hospitals over availability of medical equipment

The military has also prepared 109 military-owned hospitals across Indonesia to be turned into isolation rooms.

On Sunday, religious affairs minister Fachrul Razi visited the national hajj pilgrimage dormitory in East Jakarta. Part of the dormitory will be converted to isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients.


Additionally, the government is working to ready a new infectious disease hospital on Galang island, in Batam near Singapore.

Construction of the hospital started on Mar 8 and it is expected to be inaugurated on Mar 28.

It is being built on the site of a former Vietnamese refugee camp about 56km from Batam city centre.

“The target which the president gave was about two, three weeks … It’s not only observation and quarantine rooms but it also includes other supporting facilities such as houses for the doctors and nurses, kitchens, warehouses, laundry, and others,” Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said last week in a statement.

READ: Concerns over Indonesia’s apparent lack of coordination in releasing information on first COVID-19 death

It has not been revealed which COVID-19 patients would be warded in the hospital and how they would be transported to the island.

Indonesia has one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world at over 8 per cent.

As of Monday, it has reported 49 deaths and 579 cases.

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