“I hope it won’t be used”: Indonesia turns athletes’ village into Covid-19 hospital

Part of a large tower complex built in Jakarta to house athletes for the 2018 Asian Games has been turned into a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients.

Two towers out of the 10 at the Athletes’ Village in Kemayoran have been refitted to accommodate up to 3,000 ill people, Channel News Asia (CNA) reports.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the complex yesterday, saying he believed the facility would be ready to treat patients from that afternoon.

"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," the president said.

Indonesia today recorded its biggest daily hike so far in confirmed cases of Covid-19 – 107 – bringing the total number of cases to 686.

Patients will be treated in towers six and seven. More of the village’s towers could be converted if the need arose.

Authorities said those with severe conditions would still be treated at referral hospitals.

The makeover equipped the towers with personal protective equipment, a high-speed telecommunication network, isolation rooms, observation rooms, laboratories, radiology rooms, and intensive care units.

Other buildings in Indonesia have been converted since the pandemic began.

A privately owned hotel called Media Hotel and Towers in Jakarta was handed over to the COVID-19 task force over the weekend.

According to CNA, the military has also readied 109 of its own hospitals across the country to be used as isolation facilities.

Image: The Athletes’ Village in Kemayoran, Jakarta (Ya, saya inBaliTimur/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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