S'pore to make regular oxygen shipments to Indonesia to fight Covid-19 surge

ISO tanks filled with liquid oxygen arriving at Changi Naval Base for transport by the Republic of Singapore Navy, on July 11, 2021. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Singapore has arranged for regular shipments of emergency oxygen supplies to Indonesia, under a programme to support its neighbouring country's fight against Covid-19.

The Oxygen Shuttle programme will see more than 500 tonnes of oxygen shipped to Indonesia till August, to supplement the urgent need at medical facilities there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Monday (July 19).

This comes as Indonesia faces a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

The country reported a record 1,338 new Covid-19 deaths on Monday, pushing its total fatalities to 74,920.

The number of new cases recorded on Monday was 34,257, bringing the overall infections to more than 2.91 million.

On Monday, four tanks containing 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen arrived at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta. The next shipment is scheduled in a week's time.

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said the shipments under the programme will be done on a weekly basis over the next month. In a Facebook post on Monday, he said 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen can fill about 10,000 cylinders with oxygen gas.

Mr Teo added that he has been in touch with Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan, who is overseeing the nation's Covid-19 response.

"We will do our utmost to ride out this tough time together with Indonesia," he noted.

The programme is coordinated by the MFA, and supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre.

Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Nayar (centre) addressing Indonesian media following the arrival of the first shipment of oxygen at Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta, on July 14, 2021. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SINGAPORE

In addition, the Singapore Government sent oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies and equipment to Indonesia on July 9 and 11.

MFA said: "These efforts, as well as the contributions organised by non-government and private entities, attest to the close relationship, solidarity and strong mutual support between Singapore and Indonesia in overcoming the shared challenges of Covid-19."

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