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Indonesia Covid-19 death toll may be three times higher than official said: Crowd-sourced KawalCovid-19 tracker

Healthcare workers rest as they finish swab tests for the coronavirus, Indonesia. Photo: ANTARA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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JAKARTA, May 16, 2020, NST. More may have died, nearly three times the actual figure, due to Covid-19 in Indonesia, a crowd-sourced database volunteer group claimed. KawalCovid-19 said the number of deaths exceeded 3,000, which was more than what the national Covid-19 task force reported, according to The Jakarta Post, New Straits Times reported.

The Health ministry’s update up to Thursday saw a death toll of 1,043.

The group reiterated its call for the government to release information gathered from the ground in full, especially those reported by the provincial administration, which shows different figures compared with data from the national Covid-19 task force.

KawalCovid-19 co-founder Elina Ciptadi said the availability of data on suspected deaths was important so that people would understand the severity of the outbreak in their territories and calculate the risks appropriately.

“We need to be aware of the magnitude of the spread of the virus to take precautions. Right now, people only understand the scale (of the outbreak) after a friend or family member contracts the disease.”

Up to Wednesday, KawalCovid-19 recorded 3,180 deaths of patients suspected to have Covid-19, consisting of 3,091 patients under surveillance (PDP) and 90 people under monitoring (ODP), based on the Covid-19 websites of 16 of the country’s 34 provinces.

The actual number was likely to be much higher, as many provinces did not report PDP or ODP deaths, it claimed.

Elina said the country’s low testing rate undermined the government’s data accuracy.

“A person should only be considered a suspected case for few days before their test results make it clear whether they have the virus or not.

“In Indonesia, suspected cases can wait for weeks to learn that, which leads to late treatment.”

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