Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono has said that the decline in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia is an opportunity to strengthen medical resilience in the country.

"The decline in cases should not make us complacent. Instead, this is the time for us to strengthen medical resilience," he remarked at a press conference, accessed online here on Monday.

Strengthening medical resilience is necessary because in several countries, such as the United States, Britain, and Israel, cases began to increase even though their vaccination rates were relatively high, he explained.

When there is a decline in cases like the current one, hospitals must improve their service quality, optimize handling protocols, and evaluate COVID-19 treatment properly, he advised.

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"That way, in future, if we face severe cases, we will have better protocols," he elaborated.

Currently, he informed, the availability of medicines nationwide is sufficient. Local governments have also made purchases of medicines through the regional budget, he added.

"We evaluate that the availability of drugs nationally is sufficient. The availability of these drugs can also be monitored online," he stated.

In addition to drugs, the primary protection that is important in medical resilience is oxygen, he noted.

At the time COVID-19 cases had escalated, Indonesia had experienced a lack of oxygen, the minister noted.

The average oxygen demand before the pandemic was around 400 tons per day, he said. At the peak of infections, the oxygen demand was almost 2,725 tons a day, he said.

Therefore, he informed, the government had made several modifications, including installing oxygen generators in hospitals.

He said that an oxygen generator is a device that can produce oxygen. Currently, 133 oxygen generators have been installed in provinces across Indonesia.

"We hope that 50 more will be installed by the end of 2021 so that all provinces in Indonesia will have oxygen generators. Thus, if there is an increase in cases and they need more oxygen, they will not have to depend on oxygen supply from the central (government)," he remarked.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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