Pandemic inequity in a megacity: a multilevel analysis of individual, community and healthcare vulnerability risks for COVID-19 mortality in Jakarta, Indonesia


Henry Surendra, Ngabila Salama, Karina D Lestari, Verry Adrian, Widyastuti Widyastuti, Dwi Oktavia, Rosa N Lina, Bimandra A Djaafara, Ihsan Fadilah, Rahmat Sagara, Lenny L Ekawati, Ahmad Nurhasim, Riris A Ahmad, Aria Kekalih, Ari F Syam, Anuraj H Shankar, Guy Thwaites, J Kevin Baird, Raph L Hamers, Iqbal R F Elyazar


Introduction Worldwide, the 33 recognised megacities comprise approximately 7% of the global population, yet account for 20% COVID-19 deaths. The specific inequities and other factors within megacities that affect vulnerability to COVID-19 mortality remain poorly defined. We assessed individual, community-level and healthcare factors associated with COVID-19-related mortality in a megacity of Jakarta, Indonesia, during two epidemic waves spanning 2 March 2020 to 31 August 2021.

Methods This retrospective cohort included residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, with PCR-confirmed COVID-19. We extracted demographic, clinical, outcome (recovered or died), vaccine coverage data and disease prevalence from Jakarta Health Office surveillance records, and collected subdistrict level sociodemographics data from various official sources. We used multilevel logistic regression to examine individual, community and subdistrict-level healthcare factors and their associations with COVID-19 mortality.

Results Of 705 503 cases with a definitive outcome by 31 August 2021, 694 706 (98.5%) recovered and 10 797 (1.5%) died. The median age was 36 years (IQR 24–50), 13.2% (93 459) were <18 years and 51.6% were female. The subdistrict level accounted for 1.5% of variance in mortality (p<0.0001). Mortality ranged from 0.9 to 1.8% by subdistrict. Individual-level factors associated with death were older age, male sex, comorbidities and age <5 years during the first wave (adjusted OR (aOR)) 1.56, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.35; reference: age 20–29 years). Community-level factors associated with death were poverty (aOR for the poorer quarter 1.35, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.55; reference: wealthiest quarter) and high population density (aOR for the highest density 1.34, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.58; reference: the lowest). Healthcare factor associated with death was low vaccine coverage (aOR for the lowest coverage 1.25, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.38; reference: the highest).

Conclusion In addition to individual risk factors, living in areas with high poverty and density, and low healthcare performance further increase the vulnerability of communities to COVID-19-associated death in urban low-resource settings.