A 53-year-old foreign woman holidaying in Bali became Indonesia’s first COVID-19 fatality on Wednesday, but local authorities were only informed after her death that she had tested positive for the disease.
The Health Ministry had identified the woman as Case 25 in a press conference on Tuesday evening but neglected to inform Bali’s provincial administration.
“Today, early in the morning, at 2:45 a.m., a foreign national under observation at Sanglah Hospital died,” the chairman of Bali’s COVID-19 task force, Dewa Made Indra, said at a press conference in Denpasar on Wednesday.
Dewa, who is also the secretary of the Bali administration, said the administration had not received any information on the patient’s test result until local officials called the Health Ministry themselves after the patient’s death.
“Because this patient died in the isolation room, under observation, we tried to get confirmation from Jakarta. We hadn’t received her laboratory test results yet,” he said. “[After calling the ministry,] we were told that the patient who died was Case 25, who was announced as COVID-19 positive yesterday.”
Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto explained that, once a patient’s test result came back, the ministry would inform the doctor in charge.
“Once the lab says the test is positive, the doctor is immediately informed and the doctor informs the patient,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “Whether the doctor communicates [the results] to the regional administration is another matter.”
Yurianto previously said the ministry would stick with its policy of not announcing where confirmed cases were being treated or what country foreign patients were from.
Both the Health Ministry and the Bali administration declined to reveal the patient’s nationality, but British media have reported that she was from the United Kingdom. A British Foreign Office statement received by The Jakarta Post said the office was “supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia” but stopped short of confirming that the woman was Case 25.
Source: Jakarta Post