The Human Cost of COVID-19
Indonesia, 18 April 2020
The body of a suspected coronavirus victim, wrapped in yellow infectious waste plastic bags and wrappers, lies on the patient's deathbed awaiting a body bag in a hospital in Indonesia. The wrapping of the patient, which takes two nurses a full hour to complete through three layers of plastic and nine times of disinfection, is intended to suppress the spread of coronavirus. As mandated by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the wrapping of the body is a standard procedure for every suspected, comorbid, and positive confirmed COVID-19 deaths. This process continues until today. As is the case with most victims, family members were not allowed to say goodbye.
After the image was published by National Geographic, the image sparked denial and uproar across social media. Many who saw the image declared it to be a set up intended to spread fear.
By the end of the year, 563 medical workers in Indonesia have perished due to the pandemic, with the countryâs coronavirus toll reaching over 800,000 cases and 20,000 deaths.