"I strongly support the provision of antiviral drugs at the lowest level of health facilities – at the community health centers or self-isolation facilities -- to help COVID-19 patients to get immediate response when they need medical assistance," he said while visiting PT Samator Gas Industri in Banjarbaru City, South Kalimantan province on Wednesday.
Effendy also urged COVID-19 patients undergoing self-quarantine to regularly report their condition to community health centers. This would help health workers to monitor patients and immediately provide assistance if their condition worsens, he explained.
After inspecting the gas company, the minister also went to the Banjarmasin Ulin Regional Hospital and monitored the distribution of social assistance at the Banjarmasin City Post Office.
The minister said his official visit to the province was aimed at monitoring the regional government’s progress in meeting the demand for medical oxygen to support the handling of the pandemic in the region.
He said he hoped the local government would be able to overcome the medical oxygen deficit of 12 tons per day.
"Hopefully the deficit can be managed, so the excess oxygen can be redistributed to the industrial sector," he remarked.
"I really laud the South Kalimantan provincial government’s attempts to not only fulfill the oxygen demand in the region, but also its help in supplying medical gas to the Central Kalimantan region," he added.
According to data provided on the South Kalimantan provincial government’s website, the province currently has 9,646 COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, the Central Kalimantan provincial government has recorded 3,461 patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19 as of August 4, 2021.
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