Jakarta (ANTARA) - A Golkar Party Faction legislator at the House of Representatives lauded the Indonesian Defence Forces (TNI) for deploying its 140 medical team members to help handle COVID-19 patients to be treated at Wisma Atlet.

"This step evidently demonstrates the TNI's commitment and contribution to tackling the outbreak of COVID-19 that the Indonesian Government has declared as a national disaster," Christina Aryani noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Monday.

The TNI medical team members, comprising general practitioners, specialists, nurses, and pharmacists, are stationed at Wisma Atlet, an athletes' residence, in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, which the central government is using as a COVID-19 emergency hospital.

Aryani believes that the involvement of TNI's medical team members will make the handling of COVID-19 cases more effective and efficient owing to their good reputation as well as high discipline and working spirit.

However, in containing the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, all community members should also respect and implement the Indonesian government's healthcare protocols, including the need to apply social distancing consistently, she emphasized.

As part of its endeavors to tackle this COVID-19, the government had dispatched an Indonesian Air Force Hercules C-130 plane to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai to transport nine tons of China's medical assistance.

The military cargo plane arrived at Pudong Airport at 10:20 p.m. local time on Saturday and departed from the airport at 00:40 a.m. local time on Sunday. The plane made a transit stop at Sanya Airport in Hainan Province before continuing its flight to Indonesia.

"The plane was sent to transport the assistance at the initiative of the Indonesian Defense Ministry," Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun told ANTARA.

Indonesia's Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing, Dino Kusnadi, affirmed that medical assistance in the form of masks, goggles, protective clothing, and COVID-19 test kits was donated by different parties, including Inacham and Tsingshan Charity Foundation.

The medical assistance is the first phase of aid. China is expected to send another 20 tons of medical aid for Indonesia.

Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has earlier written a letter to the TNI commander requesting to transport the medical assistance to the country. The ministry has also formed a special team to handle the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of March 22, the government announced that Indonesia had 514 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while the death toll from this deadly virus had reached 48, and 29 COVID-19 patients had been discharged from hospitals.

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Translator: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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