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Caring and sharing for helping Indonesians in need during pandemic

Caring and sharing for helping Indonesians in need during pandemic

Medical oxygen assistance from fertilizer company PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero) to help COVID-19 handling across the country. (ANTARA/HO-Pupuk Indonesia)

Indonesia continues its fight against novel coronavirus that has claimed the lives of at least 104,010 citizens since this deadly virus hit the country in March 2020.

As of August 6, 2021, Indonesia's total number of confirmed cases was recorded at 3,607,863 while there were 39,532 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the government's data.

Despite the country's high infection rate, the number of people recovering from COVID-19 has climbed to 2,996,478 on Friday (Aug 6) compared to that of July 12, 2021 which was recorded at 2,084,724.

The government's data revealed that at least 507,375 people with COVID-19 syndromes remain hospitalized.

In dealing with this challenging situation, President Joko Widodo has repeatedly appealed to the entire nation to strengthen the spirit of "gotong royong" (mutual cooperation) in communities.

The government cannot work alone to cope with the impacts of this global pandemic of COVID-19 on public health and economy. Instead, through the spirit of "gotong royong", members of community help one another.

President Joko Widodo's calls for caring more for one another during the COVID-19 pandemic have received positive responses from various elements in the society at large.

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Indonesia's top youtuber and film actor, Baim Wong, for instance, has actively got involved in a caring and sharing movement since the early days of this COVID-19 pandemic.

As can be watched on videos that his official youtube channel "Baim Paula" regularly releases to public, Baim Wong helps so many ordinary people, like ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers and street vendors, because they are among those suffering from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

The caring and sharing movements have also been carried out by companies and members of parliament.

In July this year, public-listed tire manufacturer PT Gajah Tunggal Tbk and the Endeavor Peaceful Indonesia (UID) Foundation donated two thousand tons of liquid oxygen to the Health Ministry to fortify Indonesia's efforts to tackle a COVID-19 case surge.

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.

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 July 12.

According to the ministry, for the subsequent phases, some 200 tons of the donated liquid oxygen were distributed on a monthly basis to hospitals experiencing a shortage of medical oxygen in the islands of Java and Bali.

Patron of Jakarta-based Al Azhar Youth Leader Institute (AYLI) Sariat Arifia praised companies and organizations that have extended assistance to the Indonesian government to fulfill a major demand in medical oxygen to save COVID-19 patients.

"I reiterate President Joko Widodo's call for the importance of fostering the spirit of 'gotong royong' or mutual cooperation in battling COVID-19 because it is the key to tackling the pandemic," Arifia told ANTARA.

To this end, the contribution made by public-listed tire manufacturer PT Gajah Tunggal Tbk and other companies to the government's endeavors to ensure the availability of oxygen for COVID-19 patients was laudable.

"The government cannot work alone to fight the spread of COVID-19. Stop debating and criticizing. Instead, please do and share whatever we have to help battle the pandemic. Indonesia does need it now," Arifia emphasized.

Legislators representing the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) also join the caring and sharing movement to ease the burden on Indonesians severely affected by the pandemic's impacts.

They allow their August salaries to get deducted to assist self-isolating COVID-19 patients and households in dire need.

The deduction of the PKS legislators' salaries for COVID-19 relief program was announced by Head of the PKS Faction at the House of Representatives (DPR) Jazuli Juwaini in a press statement that ANTARA received on Sunday.

"The deduction is made effective for the August salary. The PKS faction has repeatedly ordered its members' salaries to be deducted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Indonesia last year," he said.

For this month, the funds would be used to buy staple food and meal packages for those suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, including self-isolating COVID-19 patients, Juwaini said.

The second wave of coronavirus infections that has hit the country over the past two months has made lots of people severely suffer. Children get orphaned after their parents succumb to COVID-19, he said.

In dealing with this worrisome situation, the PKS Faction at DPR has repeatedly urged the government to prioritize people's safety, and improve Indonesia's healthcare system and services.

At the same time, the government must also provide and distribute its social aid packages to those in dire need based on reliable recipient data, he added.

The PKS Central Executive Board has also instructed all cadres across Indonesia to assist those suffering from the pandemic because many of them do not get access to the government's social aid program.

"That is why, the PKS faction agains orders its legislators all over Indonesia to let their salaries get deducted," he said.

The initiative is also part of the party's social solidarity, empathy, and spirit of "gotong royong" (mutual cooperation) as many elements in the society at large also show their same thing during the pandemic, he said.

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