State-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) in Central Jakarta became the first recipient of the donated oxygen as published on the Indonesian Health Ministry's official website that ANTARA quoted on Tuesday.
Under the first phase, 20 tons of liquid oxygen were provided to RSCM, which is known as Indonesia's national referral center for government hospitals and a leading hospital education.
The symbolic handover of donation was done by Gajah Tunggal President Director Sugeng Rahardjo and UID Foundation head, Handaka Santosa, to RSCM President Director Lies Dina Liastuti during a ceremony on Monday (July 12).
The handover ceremony that took place at the RSCM's complex area was also attended by the Health Ministry's Director General for Health Service, Abdul Kadir.
According to the ministry, for the subsequent phases, some 200 tons of the donated liquid oxygen will be distributed on a monthly basis to hospitals experiencing a shortage of medical oxygen in the islands of Java and Bali.
Kadir noted that the hospitals' demand for medical oxygen had soared significantly, as they had to handle the overwhelming number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the midst of a second wave of infections.
"We thank the Gajah Tunggal Group and the UID Foundation for their aid to support the government's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Kadir was quoted on the ministry's official website as saying.
In meeting the exponentially rising demand for oxygen at hospitals and self-isolation centers, the government has pushed for the conversion of industrial oxygen for medical purposes, imported oxygen cylinders, and used oxygen concentrators.
"This donated oxygen will be vastly helpful for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and support the efforts to save their lives," Kadir affirmed.
Over the past few weeks, Jakarta and several other provinces have been striving to cope with the impacts of a severe second wave of COVID-19 amid growing threats of the more transmissible Delta variant.
Data of the ministries of health and industry pointed to a fivefold increase in the demand for medical oxygen cylinders due to the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.
Amid this alarming situation, the government has requested to convert all supplies of oxygen to fulfill medical requirements as the country battles a major spike in COVID-19 cases.
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Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan had stated on July 5 that the availability of medical oxygen cylinders mattered and should be addressed immediately.
ANTARA noted that as of July 11, Indonesia's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 2,527,203 since the pandemic struck in March 2020.
On Monday, the Indonesian Government's COVID-19 Task Force had recorded 36,197 additional cases in 24 hours, bringing the tally of current active cases to 376,015.
Despite a spike in COVID-19 cases, the country's recovery rate also climbed to 2,084,724 after 32,615 other patients made a complete recovery from the deadly virus in a single day.
Meanwhile, those who died from exposure to COVID-19 rose by 1,007, bringing the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in Indonesia to 66,464.
Based on data from the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), the total number of doctors succumbing to COVID-19 as of July 8, 2021, had reached 458, an increase of almost seven folds.
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