Indonesia reports another avian flu death

first_imgMay 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A 15-year-old boy in West Java has become Indonesia’s latest avian flu fatality, according to news reports that cited local tests.Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today that in the remote North Sumatra village that witnessed a large family cluster of avian flu cases, no cases suggestive of H5N1 infection have been detected since May 22.The 15-year-old boy, who was from Tasikmalaya, West Java, was admitted to a hospital May 29 and died yesterday, according to a Reuters story today. If his death is confirmed by a WHO laboratory in Hong Kong, his will be the 49th case and 37th death in Indonesia. About two thirds of those cases have occurred this year.Government officials said that the teen had contact with infected poultry and that his own chickens died about 2 weeks ago, according to Reuters. In addition, the report said, the boy’s grandfather was a chicken farmer who had 40 chickens that died recently.The boy represents the third recent H5N1 fatality from West Java province. A 10-year-old girl and her 18-year-old brother died last week in Bandung, which is about 55 miles northwest of Tasikmalaya.Today’s WHO update on the case cluster in Kubu Simbelang village, Karo District, North Sumatra, states that 54 family members and other close contacts remain under home quarantine. In addition, investigators have been conducting house-to-house surveillance for flu-like symptoms throughout the 400 or so households in the village, and a surveillance command post was set up in the village last week.With all this monitoring in place, no new cases resembling avian flu have been identified in Kubu Simbelang over the last 9 days, the WHO reports. This finding is important, the agency says, because it indicates that the H5N1 strain has not spread beyond members of the single extended family.Today’s WHO update also provides further details on the history of the case cluster.As noted in previous reports, the original family member to fall ill was a 37-year-old woman who is considered the index case, though samples from her body were not collected before she was buried. According to today’s report, she started showing symptoms consistent with avian flu April 24 and died May 4.She sold fruit and chilies at a market stand about 50 feet (15 m) from a stand that sold live chickens, according to the WHO. She also kept a small flock of backyard chickens, which she allowed into the house at night. Three of these chickens reportedly died before she became ill. She also used chicken feces to fertilize her garden.The woman had one sister and three brothers. The sister and two of the brothers contracted H5N1, and one of the brothers is the only infected family member to survive.The family members who died of avian flu include the 37-year-old’s two teenaged sons, her sister’s 18-month-old girl, and a 10-year-old son of the brother who died.On April 29, according to today’s update, nine family members spent the night in the same small room as the index patient when she was severely ill and coughing heavily. Five to 6 days later, three family members experienced symptoms. These were her two teenaged sons and the surviving brother, who was from a village 6 miles away.The sister of the initial patient developed symptoms at the same time, as did the sister’s 18-month-old daughter. The sister, who lived in an adjacent house, cared for the index patient, accompanied by her young daughter.The 10-year-old boy lived next door to the 37-year-old woman and was a frequent visitor in her house. His father, the woman’s brother, was the final fatality (May 22) and had tended his son throughout his hospital stay from May 9 through May 13.The WHO report also says that a parallel agricultural investigation still has not detected H5N1 virus in about 80 samples from area animals and chicken fertilizer, meaning that the initial source of the outbreak remains unknown.See also:WHO’s Indonesia cluster updatehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_31/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Need for insurance rises as pandemic poses risks

first_img“With the current COVID-19 situation, we can all agree that everything can change in the blink of an eye. If you want to do something for your family or your loved ones, insurance is one of the options,” he added.With more than 3 million people laid off during the pandemic as of June 2, according to the government’s data, as well as more than 55,000 recorded COVID-19 cases as of Monday, the pandemic has brought uncertainty to people’s lives, while insurance penetration in the country remained stagnant at 3 percent.Since the pandemic, a quarter of the Indonesian people feel anxious about their health, while 35 percent want to have health insurance, according to 2020 study by data analytics firms Nielsen, Kantar and consulting firm MarkPlus.Philip suggested people spend at most 10 percent of their monthly income for insurance, but he acknowledged that the general lack of willingness to spend on insurance was driven by people’s tendency to sacrifice long-term protection for short-term rewards. Indonesians have become more interested in insurance to mitigate uncertainty regarding their health and personal finances brought about by the pandemic, yet insurance penetration is still low in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, financial planners and insurers have said.For 25-year-old marketing officer Mika (not their true name), allocating part of the monthly income for insurance premiums was a problem. Mika spent most of their monthly income of Rp 6.5 million (US$455) on food, Mika said to The Jakarta Post.“This is [the same for] everyone, basically,” Philip Mulyana, an independent financial advisor, said during the Post’s Jakpost Up Close webinar series titled “How to navigate insurance during a pandemic” on Monday. Indonesia’s insurance penetration relative to gross domestic product (GDP) remains low. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia’s, where it was 4.4 percent, and much lower than the average insurance spending in OECD member countries, where it was 8.92 percent of GDP.The growth of insurance spending in the country has also been relatively low. Between 2011 and 2018, Indonesian spending on insurance only grew by 0.16 percentage points from 1.63 percent of GDP in 2011. The insurance growth in Singapore, on the other hand, grew by 2.66 percentage points between 2011 and 2017 to 9.02 percent of the country’s GDP. Karin Zulkarnaen, chief marketing officer of insurance firm Allianz Life Indonesia, stated that another factor hampering insurance growth in the country was the public view of insurance products as intangible items.“You can’t share insurance products on social media,” Karin said, unlike other experiential-based spending, such as lifestyle, traveling, even expensive designer bags that many young people were gravitating to, Karin observed. Understanding the need for protection amid the pandemic, Karin suggested for people to decide how much they could spend on insurance and find the maximum protection with what they could afford, adding that there were many insurance products customers could choose from. Allianz has updated its policy to include a “no-waiting period” for new customers looking for COVID-19 treatments. It has also included an additional 50 percent of the basic sum insured or a maximum Rp 250 million for death benefit due to the coronavirus, Allianz Life Indonesia country manager and president director Joos Louwerier explained during the webinar.After the pandemic, insurance penetration is projected to continue to grow. The health and medical insurance market in Indonesia is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7 percent between 2019 and 2024, comprising social security schemes and private insurance providers in ratio of 2:3, Market Insights Report says. “Insurance will rise as a favorite financial platform, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak,” Ahmad Nasrullah, the Financial Services Authority’s (OJK) head of nonbank financial institutions supervision, said during the webinar. He cited consultancy McKinsey and Company data on China’s consumer spending, which saw a growth in health insurance sales by 17 percent in the first quarter of 2020 from the same period last year.“People started to buy insurance products as part of risk mitigation for the future,” Ahmad noted.Topics :last_img read more