Tzu Chi volunteers and DAAI TV chief executive Hong Tjihn symbolically handed over 100 sets of personal protective equipment to PBNU's Covid-19 officer Syahrizal Syarif in Jakarta on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Kadin)

Business Moguls to Raise $30m for Covid-19 Medical Equipment

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

MARCH 20, 2020

Jakarta. Business moguls in the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin, and Buddhist charity group Tzu Chi are seeking to raise Rp 500 billion, or around $30 million, to help the government contain the spread of Covid-19.

The constant surge of confirmed cases – 369 with 32 deaths by Friday – has put Indonesian health care to the test.

On Friday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced an estimated 700,000 people are at risk from catching the virus.

The government on Friday also started massive rapid testing in South Jakarta, the country's Covid-19 epicenter.

With a wave of new patients expected to come in, hospitals have been pleading for more medical equipment.  

"Speed and accuracy are what it takes to fight the pandemic. This is why we've joined forces raising funds to buy new medical equipment," Tzu Chi volunteer and DAAI TV chief executive Hong Tjihn said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Several companies under Kadin are confirmed to lend a hand, including Sinar Mas, Adaro Energy, Artha Graha, Agung Sedayu, Indofood, Puradelta and Triputra.

The chamber is also in contact with other potential donors in the organization.

Conducted under the supervision of the Health Ministry and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the fundraising is expected to collect enough money to buy one million rapid test kits and surgical masks, twenty thousand safety coveralls and four ventilators. 

The progress of the donation will be reported to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at regular intervals, Kadin chairman Rosan Roeslani said.

The first wave of medical assistance went to several hospitals designated by the government as Covid-19 treatment centers – RSPAD Gatot Subroto, RSPI Sulianti Saroso and RSUP Persahabatan – on Wednesday. 

The next wave was a donation of 100 personal protective equipment for hospitals managed by the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) on Thursday.

"We've also been obeying the government's protocol on social distancing and trying to eat and live healthier," Hong Tjihn said.

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