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Jakarta Post

Singapore donates medical equipment to Batam in mutual effort to combat COVID-19

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Mon, March 16, 2020   /   02:07 pm
Singapore donates medical equipment to Batam in mutual effort to combat COVID-19 A mall near the Harbor Bay International Ferry Port in Batam, Riau Islands, is seen empty in this photo taken on March 7 as travelers and locals alike avoid public spaces amid a COVID-19 outbreak. (JP/Fadli)

Singapore has donated safety equipment and ventilators to Batam hospitals in Riau Islands province to help treat COVID-19 patients.    

Singaporean Consul General in Batam Mark Low handed over 50 hazmat suits and two ventilators to Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi on Friday as the city braces for a surge of infections.

While Singapore has established a protocol and heightened border surveillance to prevent the further spread of the disease, Indonesia has only started testing suspected patience and taking measures to minimize close contact between people.

“We appreciate the help from the Singapore government. Batam and Singapore have enjoyed a long relationship,” Rudi said at the consulate general office in Batam, which is a mere 70-minute ferry ride from the city-state.

Singapore has mandated quick tests for travelers who arrive at the country’s air, land and water ports with symptoms, as reported by The Straits Times. They must undergo the test even if they do not meet the clinical definition of being a suspected case.  

The two countries were recently involved in a dispute over Indonesians who tested positive for COVID-19 in Singapore. Jakarta accused its neighbor of withholding information about the patient, while the latter insisted in had passed on all the pertinent details to Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry.

Rudi said Singapore was more advanced in its response to the pandemic, while Indonesia had just started plan to construct a hospital exclusively for COVID-19 patients on Galang Island, also located in Riau Islands province.  

Low urged the public to remain on alert as the pandemic seemed to be far from over.

“Life is normal but [people] should be careful and follow instructions from governments,” he said.