Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Industry Ministry has channeled its efforts to intensifying the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The domestic demand for PPE has risen steadily, particularly for medical workers, as the number of COVID-19 patients has increased.

"PPE producers are calculating their production capacity until the next six to eight months. This will be adjusted in line with the schedule of distribution to several bodies, including hospitals, which urgently require them," the ministry's Director General of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industry, Muhammad Khayam, noted in a statement here on Tuesday.

Khayam remarked that under normal circumstances, domestic PPE production had reached one million units per month.

"However, the current condition would necessitate a rapid hike in PPE production. Hence, we encourage textile industries to play their part in producing the equipment," he affirmed, adding that this will help the industry to survive amid the global economic pressures.

Khayam believes that the country's PPE production capacity can be boosted to over 17 million units per month. "We project that as of May 2020, the demand for PPE would reach three to five million units," he stated.

Indonesia has 28 PPE manufacturers, with a total production capacity of 17.8 million units per month. Of the 28 producers, five had begun to boost production, while the remaining producers are targeted to augment production in April.

"We are optimistic of expediting the production of PPE, as the raw material is available. By the end of April 2020, some five to 10 million PPE can be distributed," he remarked.

Medical workers require protection devices, including surgical gowns, head covers, towel, gloves, shoes cover, hand cover, and goggles.

The ministry will continue to work closely with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the Health Ministry to supply the equipment.

Related news: SOE Ministry to dispatch COVID-19 lab equipment to 10 provinces

Related news: President calls to provide special budget for COVID-19 handling

Related news: Central, local governments must reallocate budget for corona handling

Translator: Sella Panduarsa G, Sri Haryati
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2020