Muhammad Wira's clothes that day were thicker than usual. This member of the TPS 52 Voting Organizing Group (KPSS), Kelurahan Abadi Jaya, Sukmajaya District, Depok, West Java previously only wore a blue shirt. But last Wednesday afternoon 9 December 2020, he had to cover his shirt with decontamination suits, hazmat. Three layers of gloves, two masks and a face shield are other personal protective equipment that sticks to his body.
Because of the large amount of equipment he had to use, Wira forgot to glue the hazmat suit up to his neck. The collar of his blue shirt was still sticking out when he picked up the voice of a positive Covid-19 patient. "I'm afraid, I'm afraid, but just pray so that it's okay," said Wira when met shortly before picking up the voice of a Covid patient on December 9, 2020.
Wira is one of the voting officers who volunteered to pick up the voice of a Covid-19 self-isolation patient in Depok. Meanwhile, other colleagues actually pointed at each other when asked by the head of KPPS TPS 52, I Gede Dwi to serve isolation patients. Because no one was willing but Wira, I Gede was forced to participate in serving the election for Covid-19 patients. They visited a resident of Sukmajaya District who was isolating himself independently. From behind the fence of the house numbered 287, he found 3 other family members in the house. One of them is still a child.
"Suddenly the family asked us to come in," said I Gede Dwi to Jaring on December 9, 2020.
In accordance with the appeal of the Depok City Health Office, election officers are not allowed to enter the homes of self-isolating patients. The agency recommended that voting be carried out outside the house with a safe distance of not less than 1.5 meters. In the 3 x 3 room, Dwi even forgot to give gloves to the patient. "We also want to rush, no longer think about protocol," he said.
Based on data from the Sukmajaya District and the Depok City Health Office, there is one independent patient who is registered as a voter at TPS 52.While data from the local Covid-19 Information and Coordination Center until December 7, 2020 shows that Sukmajaya is the district with the most positive cases of Covid-19 confirmation in Depok City with 400 active cases.
Meanwhile, at the Indrapura Field Emergency Hospital (RSDL), Surabaya, at least 70 of the 240 Covid-19 patients were registered as voters. The Krembangan District Selection Committee (PPK), Febryanto Nugroho, said that voting officers had to enter the isolation room because the hospital did not allow patients to get out of bed. Therefore, officers must wear standard level 3 PPE in order to safely interact with patients. "We have coordinated, for the PPE, the hospital supports that the PPE used is of appropriate quality," he said.
Even though they have been equipped with PPE according to standards, entering the isolation room for Covid-19 patients is a scourge for voting officers. The KPPS member who was tasked with picking up votes at the Wongsonegoro Hospital, Semarang City, Purwanto admitted that he had doubts. He and his colleagues had pushed each other at the entrance to the isolation room. "I admit, I was afraid. The thoughts of the family at home, ”said Purwanto.
After taking a deep breath, Purwanto ventured to pick up the voice. While in the isolation room, he tried not to come into contact with items in the room.
Of the 160 people registered to vote in the isolation room of the Wongsonegoro Hospital, only 80 people successfully cast their votes. The rest are constrained by the number of ballots and limited time for selecting isolation patients. The General Election Commission (KPU) only allocates one hour from 12.00-13.00.
In Pemalang District, Fathin Hariz, a member of KPPS at TPS 13, Bojongbata, is in the isolation room of the Dr M Ashari Hospital. For him the experience was like a test of guts. Although initially afraid, he ventured to meet an isolation patient in person. “Usually I serve rapid test of course, so I got scared. But none of the other KPPS members dared, "said Fathin, who works as a nurse every day.
When he entered the isolation room, Fathin handed over ballots and nails to vote. In order to maintain the confidentiality of the patient's choice, he turned his back on the patient when exercising his vote. Ballots are put in a plastic bag before being sprayed with disinfectant liquid.
Article 73 of the General Election Commission (KPU) Regulation Number 6 of 2020 concerning the Implementation of Regional Head Elections regulates provisions for voters who are undergoing isolation due to Covid-19. The KPPS group may visit the patient if it is approved by the witness and the kelurahan / village panwaslu or the TPS supervisor. However, not all isolation patients can exercise their voting rights.
Covid-19 patients at Merauke Regional Hospital, Papua are not allowed to participate in the regional elections. According to the Chairman of the General Election Commission (KPU) of Merauke Regency, Theresia Mahuze, his party can only serve patients other than Covid-19. Officers are prohibited by the hospital from entering the isolation room. "We previously coordinated with the Director of Merauke Hospital to accommodate it," he said on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.
Meanwhile in Medan, Covid-19 patients at the University of North Sumatra (USU) Hospital and Pirngadi Hospital in Medan chose not to exercise their voting rights. In fact, election officials have facilitated voting for patients, whether Covid-19 or not. "We have asked the patient's family to register, but no one has registered," said USU Hospital Public Relations Officer Muhammad Zeinizen referring to the letter of transfer of choice (A5)
The number of patients at Dr Pirngadi Medan Hospital who did not exercise their voting rights was 58 people. Of these, 12 were Covid-19 patients. (Deborah B. Sinambela)