"As of Saturday, April 11, 2020, some 650 thousand hazmat suits have been distributed," he told ANTARA in Jakarta when queried on the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for paramedics fighting on the frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monardo elaborated on the number of hazmat suits distributed to all provinces in Sumatra Island, with Aceh alone receiving 13 thousand pieces; North Sumatra, 24,500; West Sumatra, 16 thousand; and Riau, 12,500.
The Riau Islands Province received 22,350 pieces; Jambi, 9,350; South Sumatra, 15 thousand; Bangka Belitung, 9,050; Bengkulu, 9,400; and Lampung, 11 thousand.
Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, which has emerged as the epicenter of the new coronavirus disease based on the large number of confirmed cases and death toll, had received 121,950 hazmat suits while West Java got 62 thousand pieces, he revealed.
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Monardo suggested public hospitals experiencing a dearth of PPE, including hazmat suits, to notify the health office in their respective provinces.
In response, the health office would contact the Task Force to get the equipment, Monardo, concurrently head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), stated.
"Local hospitals should bring to the notice of the provincial health office any problems, such as a shortage of PPE. The health office will thereafter contact the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling," he remarked.
The task force had formed a special team with the support of the Indonesian Military (TNI) to distribute the healthcare equipment to all regions in the country, he stated.
The shortage of PPE has turned out to be a serious challenge for Indonesian doctors and paramedics in the early stages of Indonesia's endeavors to fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.
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