After his taxi driver job dried up due to the new coronavirus restrictions in Indonesia, Ardi Novriansyah provided his driving skills to help his home city buckle the medical system.
Ardi, 41, is one of about 35 volunteers in Bogor, southern Jakarta, who recovered the bodies of people who died of COVID-19 during isolation at home.
In the past month, Adi slept on a sofa in an unused building in the group headquarters for a day, and received calls 24 hours a day.
Ardi said that his interest in human nature allowed him to undertake such a difficult job and friendship with other volunteers.
“The important thing is that we are eager to help mankind as volunteers,” he said.
Seeing the corpse is something he adapted to in his old job as an ambulance driver.
Indonesia is struggling to cope with the devastating wave of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly contagious Delta variant, which has led to overcrowding in hospitals, meaning that many infected people who cannot access hospital beds can only die at home.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with a population of more than 270 million. The number of infections this week hit a record high in a single day, close to 57,000, seven times the number a month ago. The number of deaths has doubled since early July to approximately 1,000. day.
Lapor COVID-19, a domestic organization that collects pandemic data from the community, said that since June, 625 people (mainly in Java) have died of COVID-19 outside the hospital, and most of them are in self-isolation.
Rino Indira, the coordinator of the Bogor Volunteer Undertaker, said that a 24-hour hotline has been set up and the team is helping to fill the loopholes in the city’s strained healthcare system.
“This is an emergency in Bogor,” said Reno, who is also a member of the local government COVID-19 working group, adding that his team picks up about seven to nine bodies every day.