Jakarta (ANTARA) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sent an aid plane loaded with 20 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help Indonesia combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In return, Indonesia has sent fresh fruits and vegetables to the UAE.

"We have received aid and support from the United Arab Emirates with medical supplies, and, on its return flight to the UAE, the airplane carrying the aid would take back fresh fruits and vegetables from our farmers," director for Middle East Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Rizal Purnama, said at a press conference organized by the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling here on Tuesday.

Purnama said the donation from UAE reflects the strong bilateral relations that need to be maintained in wake of the pandemic, as no country can work alone in the fight against COVID-19.

UAE Ambassador Abdulla Salem Al-Dhaher said the medical supplies form the largest consignment of aid for a foreign country to help combat the disease.

"A United Arab Emirates' airplane carrying 20 tons of medical supplies has landed early this morning. The medical equipment will benefit some 20,000 medical workers in the fight against the virus," Abdulla noted.

Secretary of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Harmensyah, said the medical supplies comprise 100 thousand pieces of PPEs, 500 thousand gloves, 50 thousand masks, 30 thousand shoes, and 20 thousand hand sanitizers.

"This (aid) is very useful. On behalf of the Indonesian Government and the task force, we are thankful (to the UAE) for this good cooperation. Hopefully, in future, we can strengthen relations between Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates," Harmensyah stated.

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Health Ministry, Oscar Primadi, said the medical aid reflects the UAE's concern over the struggles of medical workers on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 in Indonesia.

"This will boost our spirit to stay united in handling COVID-19. We are at war, we should be united to fight COVID-19. Insya Allah (God willing), we have seen optimistic development in the case. Hopefully, we can handle this (COVID-19 crisis) soon,” he remarked.

So far, the UAE has donated more than 450 tonnes of aid to more than 27 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, which include everything from s testing kits to food supplies.

Countries that have received the aid include the US, the UK, Pakistan, Italy, South Korea, China, Iran, Greece, Serbia, Seychelles, Croatia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Cyprus, Mauritania, Colombia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Kyrgystan, Yemen, and Armenia. (INE)

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Translator: Aditya R, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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