SINGAPORE - Two planeloads of medical supplies and equipment such as oxygen cylinders, ventilators, masks, gloves and gowns arrived in Indonesia from Singapore on Friday (July 9) to support the country in its battle against the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force transported the supplies and equipment on board two C-130 planes which arrived at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, and Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar handed over the aid to Indonesia's Foreign Ministry official Sigit Widiyanto.
A set of compressed oxygen cylinders will also be sent to Indonesia to help Singapore's neighbour deal with Covid-19. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday that the Republic of Singapore Navy's Landing Ship Tank will be sailing off soon to deliver the the oxygen cylinders, as they cannot travel by air.
Reaffirming both countries' strong bilateral relations on Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said that Singaporeans stand in solidarity with Indonesia in its fight against the pandemic.
"When we had to establish community care facilities very quickly, the Republic of Indonesia was very helpful to us in supplying essential equipment and furniture which we needed to outfit these," he said at Paya Lebar Air Base during the ceremony to hand over Singapore's humanitarian assistance to Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Singapore Suryo Pratomo.
"So now, at their point in need, we stand in solidarity with them for support."
This initiative, arranged at short notice, is the direct result of the strength of the two countries' relationship, said the minister in a statement on Friday.
Early last year, Singapore had also sent medical supplies like test kits and equipment to Indonesia.
Indonesia is facing a make-or-break battle against Covid-19. It reported 38,124 cases and 871 deaths on Friday, with more than 2.45 million Covid-19 infections and more than 64,000 deaths recorded so far.
"Our hearts and prayers are joined with them as they deal with this new wave of infections," wrote Dr Ng on Facebook.
The Indonesian government is projecting daily cases to go beyond 40,000 and perhaps as high as 70,000 in the worst-case scenario.
Hospitals and healthcare workers are struggling to cope, while social media is filled with frantic pleas for oxygen tanks.
Mr Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment who oversees the Covid-19 response, said as many as 30 oxygen concentrators, part of the 10,000 bought from Singapore, would arrive on Friday.
The Indonesian military said in a statement on Friday that it also accepted 250 oxygen cylinders, 600 oxygen concentrators, 220 ventilators and personal protective equipment from Singapore.
The country is also set to accept 1,000 ventilators from Australia on Friday and more international aid, including 250,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from United Arab Emirates next week.