Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Education and Culture Ministry has distributed 268,381 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) and 16 sets of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to educational hospitals across Indonesia.

The 268,381 units of PPE including face shields, medical masks, and gloves and 16 sets of PCR as well as reagent test kits used the reallocation of state budget fund at the Education and Culture Ministry, acting director general of higher education at the ministry Prof Nizam said in a written statement released on Sunday.

He said the ministry supported cooperation among institutes of higher learning in their battle against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Nearly 15 thousand student volunteers are serving as engines of communication, information, and education (KIE).

The Education and Culture Ministry has reallocated budget fund of up to Rp405 billion to strengthen educational hospitals and medical schools of state and private institutes of higher learning across the country.

The program has increased the national capacity of PCR tests for COVID-19 by 7,000 samples per day compared to the daily target of 10,000 samples set by. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)

Secretary of the directorate general of higher education Paristiyanti Nurwardani said the PPE were distributed among educational hospitals in proportion to the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the regions where they are situated.

The ministry has mobilized health students to volunteer in the fight against COVID-19. The volunteers are participating in efforts for prevention as well as treatment of COVID-19.

The ministry has also been making arrangements so teaching hospitals under the Ministry of Education and Culture can receive COVID-19 patients.

"At present, there are 13 medical facilities and 13 teaching hospitals appointed by the Ministry of Health as COVID-19 test laboratories," Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said on March 26, adding that without systematic tests, it would be difficult to curb the spread of the virus.

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Translator: Indriani/Suharto
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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