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Jakarta Post

Indonesian Military distributes 151,000 pieces of protective gear, 19,000 left at warehouse

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 27, 2020   /   01:55 pm
Indonesian Military distributes 151,000 pieces of protective gear, 19,000 left at warehouse Security guards wear hazmat suits as a preventive measure against COVID-19 as they check the temperature of arriving customers at a shopping mall in Beijing on Feb. 27. (AFP/Greg Baker)

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has distributed 151,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to 34 provinces across Indonesia to help medical personnel in combating the spread of COVID-19.

With the distribution, 19,000 items remain in stock as of Friday from the initial 170,000, said a commissioned officer of the military’s internal operations, Col. Inf. Aditya Nindra Pasha.

He went on to say that most of the equipment, as many as 40,000 items, had been delivered to Jakarta, considering that the city was the epicenter of COVID-19 infections in the country. 

Another 20,000 items have been sent to the second hardest-hit province, West Java. 

“All equipment was distributed between March 23 and 26, from a national warehouse in Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base [in East Jakarta],” said Aditya in a press conference on Friday.

He also said that the 151,000 items also included 20,000 pieces of protective gear to be allocated to 10 provinces but had yet to be distributed. 

The provinces include Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, Gorontalo and Central Sulawesi. 

Read also: COVID-19: Protective gear delivered to medical workers to alleviate scarcity

With the decrease in supply, the military will focus on distributing the remaining items to provinces with poor connectivity, as well as regions bordering neighboring countries, said Aditya. 

“The amount of distributed equipment to each province was based on their request, so we hope that regional administrations can determine which regions in their provinces need the equipment the most,” he added.

Since mid-February, Indonesia’s health workers, doctors and nurses have been working overtime to treat COVID-19 cases, despite many of them having inadequate personal protection. Many of the medical workers were found to have worn makeshift personal protection gear, including raincoats, in lieu of hazmat suits. 

A medical worker at a hospital in Bogor, West Java, who asked to remain anonymous, said about a week ago that the Bogor administration had issued a circular urging medical workers at community health centers (Puskesmas) and hospitals to wear protective gear after the city declared a state of an extraordinary case of COVID-19.

“But it’s very hard for us, medical workers, to obtain the equipment and we’ve been wearing raincoats until now,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday. “We just hope that the equipment will be evenly distributed,” he added. (glh)