"I want to express my gratitude to the Indonesian government for its timely assistance in (our) long struggle against the pandemic," Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Manoj Kumar Bharti remarked during a press conference on Wednesday.
Bharti made the statement during the dispatch of COVID-19 assistance for India at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport, in the presence of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
The assistance comprised 200 oxygen concentrators. The Indonesian government had earlier also donated 1,400 oxygen cylinders to India on May 10, 2021.
“I also understand that two thousand more oxygen cylinders will be sent to India in June,” he remarked.
Bharti pointed to India bearing witness to an explosion in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of infection that has heavily challenged the country’s health system.
Meanwhile, Minister Marsudi remarked that as India’s old and close friend as well as strategic partner, Indonesia has kept abreast of the developments pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, including by providing oxygen to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“The humanitarian aid is a manifestation of the Indonesian people’s solidarity with India. This aid is expected to assist India in handling the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister affirmed.
Since the pandemic struck, Indonesia and India have cooperated in battling the coronavirus, including India’s role in facilitating the export of much-sought medicinal raw materials to Indonesia and the roles of both nations in supporting the procurement of vaccines under the multilateral COVAX scheme.
Marsudi expressed Indonesia’s gratitude to India for its assistance offered during the pandemic while asserting that it was now Indonesia’s turn to support India.
“Indonesia stands along with India during this difficult time, and we are committed to sharing this burden with the Indonesian people,” she emphasized.
The Indonesian Ministry of Industry has dispatched oxygen assistance to India.
“With the number of people getting 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, stated in Cikande, Serang, Banten, on Monday.
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Kartasasmita remarked that India is a strategic partner country for Indonesia in the diplomatic and industrial and trade sectors.
"We (want to) help our brothers facing difficulties," he remarked.
The minister explained that 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 was realized through the initiative of the oxygen gas industry as well as the petrochemical industry and the textile industry originating from India, according to Kartasasmita.
The Indonesian Industrial Gas Association and PT Samator have coordinated for the procurement of oxygen cylinders and contents for 3,400 tubes for the aid, he remarked.
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 revealed.
The total number of tubes collected and ready to be shipped reaches 1,400 that will be sent in five containers, Kartasasmita stated.
Related news: COVID-19: Indonesia sends aid to ease India's oxygen emergency