The number of Indonesians recorded as having tested positive for COVID-19 reached more than 4,500 on Monday, after the first two cases were confirmed on March 2. Jakarta has recorded more than 2,100, making it the country’s COVID-19 epicenter.
The Jakarta Post reported on April 6 that a research study conducted by Katadata Insight Center showed an adequate number of healthcare facilities in the capital city, but not in other regions including West Java and Banten, portraying obstacles in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Furthermore, a shortage of medical workers to run tests and provide treatment for the disease, as well as the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical workers pose other obstacles.
While an adequate supply of protective gear is crucial for those on the frontline and at high risk of infection, provision of medical-grade supplies comes with major challenges. Many textile companies have shifted to mass-producing masks and protective coveralls, but obtaining medical-grade raw materials could still be difficult, the Post reported.
The government had eventually distributed PPE supplies from China to meet the increasing demand for the items, thus gearing up medical workers in their task to contain the spread of COVID-19. A similar step was taken by certain organizations including the Tanoto Foundation, who committed to donate millions of items of PPE sourced from China.
Independent philanthropic organization Tanoto Foundation procured more than 30 tons of protective gear that arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on a chartered Garuda Indonesia flight from Shanghai, China on Monday. The goods, coming as the third batch being delivered, are part of Tanoto Foundation’s donation to the Indonesian government.
A Garuda Indonesia Boeing 777-300ER arrives at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on April 13. The aircraft was chartered by the Tanoto Foundation to transport 30 tons of personal protective equipment for donation sourced from Shanghai, China. Tanoto Foundation COVID-19 Project Lead/ Head of ECED Eddy Henry (left) and foundation adviser Sihol Aritonang (right) were seen inspecting the cargo. The goods delivered are a portion of 1 million surgical masks, 1 million surgical gloves, 100,000 protective gowns and 3,000 goggles that the foundation is committed to donating to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency for distribution to COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta, Medan and Pekanbaru. (Courtesy of Tanoto Foundation/.)
The foundation has committed to donate 1 million masks, 1 million pairs of gloves, 3,000 pairs of goggles and 100,000 protective suits flown in a few batches. With the third batch’s arrival, Tanoto Foundation is very close to completing its commitment. So far, all of the protective suits, gloves and goggles, as well as 85 percent of the masks, have been delivered. The rest of the masks will be transported to Jakarta in the coming week.
Prior to the delivery of the third batch, the first and second batches had arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport on April 2 and 3 also on chartered flights.
Satrijo Tanudjojo, global CEO of Tanoto Foundation, said in a statement that through this humanitarian mission, the organization resolved to speed up the shipment process so the PPE could be used by our healthcare professionals as soon as possible.
“We hope our Indonesian heroes in health care will be quickly equipped and supported so they can carry out their work with adequate protection,” said Satrijo.
He went on to say that Tanoto Foundation extended its appreciation for the support given by Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun, the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing, employees of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the Transportation Ministry, Customs and Excise, the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) and Aviation Security of Halim Perdanakusuma and Soekarno-Hatta International airports, all of whom have worked very hard to help ensure the flights faced no challenges on their return to Indonesia.
“They also helped us unload the cargo from the airplane, carried out disinfection and also ensured the PPE arrived safely in Indonesia,” Satrijo was quoted as saying.
To expedite the PPE shipment from China to Indonesia, Tanoto Foundation sent a team of volunteers comprising employees of Tanoto Foundation and PT Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), a global group of natural resources-based manufacturing companies.
The team of volunteers traveled on three chartered round-trip flights to facilitate the shipment, and successfully completed their humanitarian mission despite challenges caused by limited transport and delivery options.
“We would like to also express our appreciation to Garuda Indonesia’s management and crew for their tremendous support in this humanitarian mission, which has enabled the speedy arrival of the PPE cargo to fight against COVID-19,” adds Satrijo.
Teaming up with the BNPB, Tanoto Foundation is subsequently distributing the PPE to referral hospitals for COVID-19 in Jakarta, North Sumatra’s Medan and Riau Islands’ Pekanbaru.