2nd Prize Singles, General News

18 April 2020

Joshua Irwandi, Indonesia

The Human Cost of COVID-19

The body of a suspected coronavirus victim, wrapped in yellow infectious-waste plastic, lies awaiting a body bag, in a hospital in Indonesia, on 18 April. Nurses wound plastic around the body and sprayed it with disinfectant, in accordance with Indonesian government protocols, which also required COVID-19 victims to be buried quickly to prevent the virus spreading. This meant grieving relatives were unable to follow funeral practices. The World Health Organization advised against the use of disinfectant and recommended wrapping bodies in cloth. The potential risk of transmission related to the handling of bodies of COVID-19 victims is considered low, provided that it is carried out by trained medical staff wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). By the end of the year, Indonesia had reported around 743,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 22,000 deaths.