The North Sumatra task force has started construction of a COVID-19 hospital for mothers and children to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases among pregnant women.
North Sumatra secretary Sabrina said the hospital used to be Medan Haj Hospital before it was turned into a COVID-19 hospital.
The provincial administration has targeted for the hospital to open by the end of this month. Sabrina also said the construction work had reached 85 percent completion.
“Hopefully the construction work will finish by the end of November so it can open soon,” Sabrina said on Monday.
She also said building the dedicated hospital was aimed at separating children and pregnant women with COVID-19 from other patients to maximize their recovery process.
“This is such a wonderful idea from the governor, since we are not supposed to lump regular COVID-19 patients with children, breastfeeding women and pregnant women,” Sabrina said.
She also said the North Sumatra administration had geared up to be the first administration to build a special hospital for women and children with COVID-19. The hospital is expected to be able to make its patients feel safe while being treated.
“It is a part of the government’s duties to make its citizens feel safe. Therefore, we want pregnant women with COVID-19 not to feel afraid when delivering their baby here, since we are following the health protocols,” Sabrina said.
The hospital will be equipped with 42 rooms and COVID-19 facilities, such as a PCR laboratory, isolation room, medical ward and intensive care unit.
North Sumatra Health Agency head Alwi Mujahit said that so far there had only been a few COVID-19 cases among children and pregnant women in the province.
However, the task force predicted that the number of childbirths would increase by the end of December, which calls for preventive measures.
“We’ve speculated that there will be a spike in the number of childbirths in December as an impact of the work from home policy implemented since last March.” Alwi said.
“As the number of childbirths is increasing, it is possible that COVID-19 cases in women and children will also increase. This is what we need to anticipate,” he added.
As of Tuesday, North Sumatra had recorded a total of 13,355 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 10,918 recoveries and 546 deaths.
Previously, the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), the authority overseeing the country’s family planning programs, found that in March, when the epidemic hit the country, about 10 percent more of its acceptors faced difficulty in accessing birth control, based on reports it received from 34 provinces.
BKKBN has 28 million acceptors of its family planning methods nationwide.
The one-month decline in contraceptive use alone could push up pregnancies by 15 percent, or around 420,000 pregnancies, within a month to three months, according to its estimate.
A further drop within three months will increase pregnancies by up to 30 percent, or above 800,000, within another few months.
Indonesia, home to nearly 270 million inhabitants, annually welcomes 4.8 million births. (apg/dpk)
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