"Thank you for the donation. The items will soon be distributed to paramedics and other personnel assigned to the COVID-19 task force," Pekanbaru Deputy Mayor Ayat Cahyadi told journalists in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province, on Wednesday.
Chinese Indonesians organized the donation of 668 pieces of PPE, including hazmat suits, face shields, medical gloves, shoe covers, boots, and vitamins, under the umbrella of Chinese Community Caring for COVID-19.
Deputy Mayor Cahyadi said the donation was evidence of the community members' concern and participation in the nation's fight against the new coronavirus pandemic, which requires collective endeavor from all stakeholders, including companies.
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Chinese Community Caring for COVID-19, Stephen Sanjaya said the Chinese community members support the Pekanbaru Disaster Mitigation Agency's efforts to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.
Besides distributing the PPEs, the Chinese Community Caring for COVID-19 also plans to distribute bottled mineral water, face masks, vitamins, and medical gloves to those in need at 11 checkpoints in the city.
The move by Chinese Indonesian community members resonates with calls for mutual cooperation echoed earlier by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
In a recent statement, President Jokowi highlighted the importance of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong", or mutual cooperation, arguing that the government cannot work alone to fight the spread of COVID-19.
"The entire nation's participation is indispensable," President Jokowi declared in a video statement from the Bogor Presidential Palace over the weekend.
The current situation has created unease among the people. But, with the spirit of "gotong royong", Indonesia would be able to come out of the current crisis, the President said and urged citizens to uphold the spirit of mutual cooperation across the country by helping one another.
"The caring and sharing movement must be made public. This is not aimed at showing off, but at keeping hope alive, and inspiring others to do the same good deeds," he noted.
The coronavirus disease initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.
As of Wednesday (April 22), Indonesia has recorded 7,418 confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the death toll from the virus has touched 635, as many as 913 patients have been discharged from hospital post recovery. (INE)
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EDITED BY INE