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Boat-hospital to robots: Indonesians go creative in dealing with the coronavirus

Indonesians are looking at innovative ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic (Photo: IANS)

With covid cases still at high levels in Indonesia, the country is coming up with new ideas to resolve its pandemic crisis. People have converted a boat into a hospital while others have fashioned a robot out of pots and pans.

Reuters reports that the archipelago has converted one of its passenger ships into an isolation centre for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms. The ship, named Umsini, earlier used to ferry passengers between Indonesia's various islands.

The creativity of converting the ship into a recovery centre has been undertaken at the Indonesian port city of Makassar. The ship has provided more than 800 beds and sixty medical workers work in shifts.

Makassar is located in the South Sulawesi province and is dealing with a surge in Covid-19 cases.  

The floating hospital has become a hit with the patients. With the patients having to spend ten days in isolation, they are coming up with innovating ways to keep themselves amused or busy. Besides routine medical check-ups, they are exercising, listening to music and even indulging in fishing. Reuters quotes a patient as saying: "I chose to isolate here because I think this is unique and it's a new thing in Makassar. Also, the location is far from the city, so we won't spread the coronavirus to others".

The Indonesians have been agile in identifying other innovative measures to deal with the spread of the virus.

Residents of Temboke Gede village have developed a robot to help isolated patients. Reuters reports that the Delta Robot, made by the villagers, helps in delivering food to self-isolating patients. It also sprays disinfectants and issues public announcements.

Interestingly, the robot has been made out of pots and pans, a TV monitor and a rice cooker.

The unrelenting spread of the highly infectious Delta variant has put South-East Asian nations onto a back foot. Indonesia is not an exception. Even as it has managed to procure enough oxygen supplies and beds for its hospitals, far flung areas and remote islands are still dealing with the steady inflow of patients.

Yesterday, Indonesia reported 24,709 Covid-19 cases and 1,466 deaths, showing that the daily number of infections is steadily coming down. It has recorded a total of more than 1.15 lakh deaths till now.

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