The Jakarta Post
CJ Indonesia, the local arm of South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation, donated on Monday rapid test kits and hand sanitizer worth Rp 4 billion (US$255,000) to healthcare facilities and app-based motorcycle taxi drivers, as demand for these crucial items remains high in the fight against COVID-19.
The company, which manages bakery franchise Tous Les Jours, among other businesses, has prepared 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 200,000 pieces of bread and 200,000 milk packages to be distributed to state-owned hospitals and community health centers (Puskesmas) handling COVID-19 patients, as well as ojek drivers impacted by the government's large scale social restrictions.
The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will distribute the donations gradually over the next 20 days. Meanwhile, the rapid test kits are expected to arrive later this month from South Korea.
"This is a real symbol of the close ties between Indonesia and South Korea," BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia said in a statement on Monday. "The BKPM will help with the distribution so that medical staff and app-based ojek drivers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can benefit accordingly."
CJ Indonesia, which has operated in the country since 1988, joins other companies in donating medical equipment amid the unfolding pandemic. The BKPM previously received 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing kits from another South Korean conglomerate, LG Group.
Hospitals across the country are in need of medical supplies and test kits as the number of infected patients continues to rise amid calls for more aggressive testing. Official figures showed that more than 4,500 people have contracted COVID-19 in Indonesia, with the death toll reaching nearly 400.
“As we forge relations with the BKPM and Indonesia during our 32-year operations, we have a sense of belonging and togetherness,” said CJ Indonesia business development director Wahju Onasis. "We want to help ease the burden caused by this outbreak.
Two-Wheeled Movement Union (Garda) leader Igun Wicaksono added: "The donations we received today [Tuesday] from CJ Indonesia and the BKPM will be of great help to us — the app-based motorbike taxi drivers who have suffered as a direct impact — to support our daily operations.”
App-based ojek taxi drivers are among the vulnerable groups that have been hit the hardest by the government’s social restriction policy to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Online Driver Association (ADO) head Wiwit Sudarsono, drivers’ earnings have plunged nearly 80 percent, especially for those who usually transport passengers.
A report by big data firm Statqo Analytics showed that Grab and Gojek had seen a 16 and 14 percent downturn, respectively, among their active ride-hailing users within the last week of March. A significant drop was seen on March 19, three days after schools and many businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Editor's note: This article has been revised to reflect that the donation worth US$255,000.