Government ensures availability of medicines amid COVID-19 pandemic

Government ensures availability of medicines amid COVID-19 pandemic

Illustration - medicines. (ANTARA / Shutterstock / am.)

As of September 21, 2020, drugs for handling COVID-19 have been distributed to 34 provincial health offices and 746 hospitals
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government had conducted intensive coordination with the pharmaceutical industry to guarantee the availability of medicines during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a press release received by the Ministry of Health in Jakarta on Wednesday, Director General of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices for the Ministry of Health, Engko Sosialine Magdalene, affirmed that most of the required drugs were produced by the domestic pharmaceutical industry and their raw materials have entered Indonesia since early April 2020.

"As of September 21, 2020, drugs for handling COVID-19 have been distributed to 34 provincial health offices and 746 hospitals," he revealed.

Magdalene noted that the Ministry of Health was also assisting to provide medical devices and medical supplies for handling COVID-19.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health pointed to a notable increase in the number of personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers during the period from February 2020 to September 21, 2020.

A drastic increase in the number of mask manufacturers was recorded to some 707 percent, from 26, to reach 210; the number of PPE manufacturers jumped 4,742 percent, from just seven, to 339 industries; surgical glove manufacturers rose 221 percent, from 14 to 45; and COVID-19 rapid test kit manufacturers increased 1,700 percent, from zero to 17.

Furthermore, the government recorded an increase in the number of ventilator manufacturers to 228, from seven to 23; infrared thermometer manufacturers up 600 percent, from none to six; transport culture medium manufacturers increased 800 percent, from none to eight; dacron swab producers increased 500 percent, from none to five; and hand sanitizer manufacturers increased 955 percent, from 45 to 475.

"We are optimistic that with an increase in the number of manufacturers, they would be able to support the domestic availability of masks, protective equipment, surgeon's gloves (surgical gloves), ventilators, IR thermometers, transport culture medium, Dacron Swab, COVID-19 Rapid Test, and hand sanitizers," Magdalene remarked.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) earlier declared the outbreak of COVID-19, which has spread to 34 provinces as a national disaster.

President Jokowi has accorded national disaster status to the ongoing pandemic in a letter number 12/2020 dated April 13, 2020, which highlights several points, including the appointment of head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Doni Monardo, to lead the COVID-19 task force.

The Task Force for the Accelerated Handling of COVID-19 will work on mitigating the impact of the pandemic through coordinated efforts with the concerned ministries, government agencies, and regional administrations.
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