Jakarta. Indonesia receives $765,000 worth of medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to increase the country’s capacity in containing the coronavirus outbreak and provide supports to medical workers in the frontline of the battle against the pandemic.
A chartered Etihad Airlines plane carried the 20-ton supplies that include 100,000 units of personal protective equipment, 500,000 pairs of medical gloves, 50,000 surgical masks and respirators and 20,000 hand sanitizers, among other things.
UAE Ambassador to Indonesia Abdullah Salem Obaid Salem Al Dhaheri said Indonesia had been the biggest single recipient so far from the kingdom’s global Covid-19 assistance that covers at least 27 countries.
"The medical supplies sent today are considered to be the greatest among all Covid-19 assistance that the UAE has taken care of any other countries," Al Dhaheri said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
He said the aid package represents his government’s sympathy and solidarity for Indonesia’s struggle in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The UAE and Indonesia partnership is one of strength and cooperation, and we are very much proud to assist in this manner today,” he said.
The UAE also bought fruits and vegetables from Indonesian farmers to help the local economy. The agricultural commodities were flown back to the UAE on the same aircraft.
The aid was directly received by the National Covid-19 Task Force to be distributed to affected provinces.
The UAE joins a list of countries and organizations who have offered a helping hand to Indonesia during the pandemic. A Taiwanese charity organization sent 460,000 medical equipment on April 20. The South Korean government also donated almost 550,000 reagents for polymerase chain reaction or PCR testing.
China sent sophisticated machines for Covid-19 diagnostic tests on Saturday, in addition to 48 tons of medical supplies in March.
United States President Donald Trump tweeted in the weekend his administration will provide ventilators for Indonesia, though the matter is still in discussion.
The Indonesian government needs millions of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies as cases keep growing in the country. According to a finding by Johns Hopkins University, Indonesia currently has the highest Covid-19 mortality rate in Asia by 8-9 percent.
Medical workers expressed concern that deficiency of PPE has increased safety risks at their jobs. As many as 24 doctors in Indonesia have died from Covid-19 since early March.
As of Tuesday, Indonesia has reported 9,511 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 1,254 recoveries and 773 fatalities.