Govt-private collaboration helped tackle COVID oxygen crisis: Minister

Govt-private collaboration helped tackle COVID oxygen crisis: Minister

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin during a working meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives (DPR) on Tuesday (January 24, 2023). (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Collaboration between the government and private start-up companies helped meet the need for oxygen during the COVID-19 crisis in 2021, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.

“When a crisis occurred, Indonesia experienced an extraordinary surge in oxygen demand. In less than four weeks, it could be handled by using the social capital of the Indonesian people,” he said during a working meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives (DPR), which was followed online on Tuesday.

The oxygen crisis occurred in July 2021 following the emergence of the Delta variant in Indonesia, he noted. At that time, at least 87 thousand patient treatment beds were occupied in hospitals.

The surge in COVID-19 patients caused oxygen demand to reach more than 2 thousand tons per day, surpassing the maximum national capacity of 1,500 tons per day.

The strategy taken by the Health Ministry at that time was involving private start-up oxygen processing companies to supply 5 thousand tons of liquid oxygen to 500 hospitals.

The collaboration also resulted in the assistance of 81 ISO tank containers, some of which were donated and lent to meet the needs of patients. The government was also supported by donations of 18 thousand concentrators with a capacity of 5–10 liters per minute.

Private parties also donated 36 units of oxygen generators with a capacity of 200–300 liters per minute, which were distributed to several health facilities.

“Private and foreign companies, central and regional governments all cooperated, and in one month, we could handle the oxygen shortage,” the minister said.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of January 24, 2023, the nation has recorded 6,728,402 COVID-19 cases, 6,562,721 recoveries, and 160,793 deaths.

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