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The human cost of COVID-19

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The human cost of COVID-19

The body of a suspected coronavirus victim, wrapped in yellow infectious waste plastic bags and wrappers, lies on the patient's deathbed awaiting a body bag in a hospital in Indonesia. Wrapping the patient, which takes two nurses a full hour to complete through three layers of plastic and nine disinfection procedures, is intended to suppress the spread of the coronavirus. As mandated by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the wrapping of the body is standard procedure for every suspected, comorbid, and confirmed positive COVID-19 death. This process is ongoing today. As with most victims, family members were not allowed to say goodbye. After the image was published by National Geographic, it sparked denial and uproar across social media. Many who saw the image claimed it was staged to spread fear. By the end of the year, Indonesia’s coronavirus toll had reached over 800,000 cases and 20,000 deaths.

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