COVID-19: Indonesia sends aid to ease India's oxygen emergency

COVID-19: Indonesia sends aid to ease India's oxygen emergency

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, and Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, release government aid to India in the form of oxygen-filled cylinders in Cikande, Serang, Banten, Monday. (ANTARA / Sella Panduarsa )

Serang (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry has sent oxygen assistance to India, which has witnessed an explosion in COVID-19 cases amid a second wave of infections, whose impact has been greater than the first wave.

“With the number of people who are infected every day reaching more than 400 thousand and with a daily death rate of 3,900 people, India currently really needs assistance in the form of oxygen gas for the treatment of COVID-19 patients,” Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, said in Cikande, Serang, Banten on Monday.

At the event, which was also attended by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, Kartasasmita said that India is a strategic partner country for Indonesia, both in terms of diplomatic and industrial and trade sectors.

"We (want to) help our brothers who are experiencing difficulties," he remarked.

According to Kartasasmita, in the first stage, the Indonesian government will send 1,400 oxygen cylinders of the total 3,500 to India.

In the first phase, assistance has been realized through the initiative of the oxygen gas industry as well as the petrochemical industry and the textile industry originating from India, he informed.

The Indonesian Industrial Gas Association and PT Samator have coordinated the procurement of oxygen cylinders and contents for 3,400 tubes for the aid, he said.

Furthermore, PT Indorama Ventures Indonesia, PT Indo-Rama Synthetics, PT Asia Pacific Fibers, PT Indo Bharat Rayon (Aditya Birla Group), PT Mutu Gading Tekstil, and the Carpet and Prayer Mat Industry Association have financed 280 tubes and one shipping container, he added.

The total number of tubes that have been collected and are ready to be shipped is 1,400, which will be sent in five containers, Kartasasmita said.

"The Indonesian government would like to thank for the initiative and participation of those who have assisted in the implementation of this assistance, especially the industries mentioned earlier," he added.

The Minister of Industry expressed the hope that the assistance would help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, while praying that the situation in India quickly becomes under control.

"And for us, let us take lessons from the tragedy that befell India so that we do not let our guard down and remain disciplined in implementing health protocols," Kartasasmita remarked. (INE)
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