Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian authorities sprayed disinfectant fluid on crew members, medical cargo, cockpit, and cabin of the Indonesian Air Force's Hercules C-130 on arrival at Raden Sadjad Airbase, Natuna District, Riau Islands Province, from China, Sunday.

The military aircraft's fuselage was also sprayed with disinfectant fluid in accordance with the WHO's protocols to contain the spread of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Indonesian Air Force Spokesman Colonel Sus Muhammad Yuris stated here on Monday.

On Monday, the Hercules C-130 aircraft was scheduled to depart for the Halim Perdanakusuma Airbase in Jakarta to deliver the medical assistance cargo, Yuris remarked.

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

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

"The aircraft 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, noted that the 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 provide additional 20 tons of medical aid for Indonesia.

Earlier, in a letter to the TNI commander, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto had requested that the medical assistance be transported to the country. The ministry has also set up a special team to handle the coronavirus outbreak.

Apart from sending its C-130 plane to China, the TNI also deployed its 140 medical team members at Wisma Atlet (athletes' residence) in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, which the central government has readied to serve as a COVID-19 emergency hospital.

Members of the medical team comprise general practitioners, specialists, nurses, and pharmacists.

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

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Translator: Syaiful H, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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