The surged of COVID-19 patients had occurred in Yogyakarta between December 2020–February 2021 due to the long holidays, regional elections, and year-end holidays. The capacity of the hospitals at that time was inadequate to accommodate a surge of COVID-19 patients. Several emergency rooms in hospitals were forced to close due to the excess number of patients coming into the emergency units at that time. The increase in patients certainly created pressure on health workers and health facilities. This condition forced the emergence of alternative patient management strategies. The construction of the third regency shelter in Bantul, namely the shelter of the former Padmasuri Hospital, has become a response to this situation. Since January 2021, the Health Office of Bantul Regency has promoted the development of village shelter and padukuhan (sub-village).
Learning from experience to face the second wave of COVID-19, SONJO has promoted the extensification of shelter construction to support hospitals. Based on the original concept of shelter made by the Health Office of Bantul Regency, there are three types of shelter: a) regency shelter, b) village shelter, and c) padukuhan (sub-village) shelter. The Health Office of Sleman Regency has extended for district shelter. SONJO has extended the concept to: a) university shelter, b) pesantren (Islamic boarding school) shelter, and c) corporation shelter.
The existence of these shelters supports the hospital’s ability to accommodate patients with asymptomatic or light symptom. This means that the existence of the shelter will cover 40% of the COVID-19 patients, who have asymptomatic or light symptom. The existence of the shelter to support the authority to separate 40% of the COVID-19 patients from the healthy members of the society.
It is expected that the shelters play a crucial role in accommodating asymptomatic to mild symptomatic patients, while patients with moderate, severe and critical symptoms can be hospitalized. In line with the shelters, the Bantul Health Office has developed the dual referral system of the COVID-19 patients between shelters and hospitals. If a patient in a shelter is getting worse, the patient may be referred to hospital. In contrast, if a patient in a hospital is getting better and stable, the patient may be referred to shelter to spend the rest of his/her treatment. The existence of shelters and also the dual referral system has proven to be effective in keeping hospitals functioning optimally in treating COVID-19 patients during the period of December 2020-Januari 2021.
SONJO held a webinar SONJO Migunani #7: On Developing COVID-19 Shelters on 6 June 2021. The speakers of the event were dr Tarsisius Glory (Health Office of Bantul) and dr Sri Aminah (Regional Hospital of Yogyakarta), with moderator: Sri Awalia Febriana, PhD (FK-KMK, UGM). The materials of the presentation may be downloaded below:
- dr Tarsisius Glory: Developing Village Shelter
- dr Sri Aminah: Village and Islamic Boarding School Shelters
The recording of the event may be accessed here:
After this event, volunteers from Kudus (Central Java) wanted a question and answer session with the two speakers because they were interested in building a shelter due to the high level of transmission in Kudus. Hence, on June 12th, 2021 at 20.00-22.30 WIB, a Talk Show (Special Edition): Questions and Answers to Build a COVID-19 Shelter was held. The recording of the discussion can be accessed at the following link:
After the event, a join WAG Sambatan Kudus was formed and the members consist of volunteers from NU Peduli, Muhammadiyah COVID-19 Command Center (MCCC), SONJO and volunteers from Kudus. The WAG then has been expanded to cover a wider area of Kudus-Pati-Jepara and Demak and the name of the WAG was changed to be WAG Sambatan Lingkar Muria (SaLiRa). The following is the link to the video of technical assistant of developing shelter, which was held on 18 June 2021, attended by volunteers from Kudus, Pati, Jepara, Demak (Central Java), Kabupaten Bandung Barat (West Java) and Bangkalan (East Java):
Following the technical assistant, the join WAG was formed between volunteers of SONJO, CISDI and PUSPA to form WAG Rereongan Bandung Barat. As the coverage of the WAG extended, the name of the WAG was transformed to be WAG Rereongan Bandung Raya which also include volunteers from Bandung Barat and Bandung.
The success of developing shelters to other areas with volunteers from other regions has attracted volunteers from several regions to have technical assistant. The next technical assistant was held on 29 June 2021 attended by volunteers from Bangkalan, Sumenep (East Java) and Karawang (West Java):
The demand to conduct technical assistant of developing shelter came from OTO Ltd. This is the first corporation which express their intention to develop shelter within their premises. The OTO Ltd is situated in Bogor, West Java, and it is the subsidiary of the Sumitomo group. It has 5.500 staff and the corporation aims to develop shelters to help its staff to isolate themselves when they were infected by COVID-19. The IFG group also expressed their interest to participate in the technical assistant. The recording of the technical assistant was held on 4 Juli 2021 may be seen below:
After the event, some colleagues from the OTO Ltd expressed their interest to form a join WAG with volunteers from SONJO. At that night we formed a join WAG Sambatan OTO. This marks the endeavour to develop a shelter within a corporation. On 11 July 2021 another technical assistant was held with some companies from Jakarta including Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Ltd, The link of the video of the technical assistant may be found below: