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Jakarta Post

Raw materials coming from India to produce COVID-19 medicine

  • Riska Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 16, 2020   /   08:09 pm
Raw materials coming from India to produce COVID-19 medicine Medical workers check the equipment in an ICU room of the COVID-19 Emergency Hospital at Kemayoran Atlet Hospital, Central Jakarta, on March 23. (Kompas/Pool/Heru Sri Kumoro)

State-owned firms have received COVID-19 medicine and raw materials from India to help treat infected patients in the country.

Arya Sinulingga, an aide to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, said on Wednesday that state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma had received its orders for oseltamivir on Tuesday afternoon from Hyderabad, India.

“The oseltamivir is enough to make 500,000 tablets of medicine that will be used to treat COVID-19 patients,” he told the press during a virtual press briefing. Oseltamivir is the raw material for Tamiflu, which is often used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Arya added that Bio Farma had also ordered 1 ton of chloroquine that will also be used to help treat patients infected with the pneumonia-like illness.

Other than procuring the necessary medicine to treat the illness, he also said that several SOEs would soon produce 200 ventilators that would be used for patients in mild and critical conditions.

“The ventilator prototypes from several universities and companies are still being tested by the Health Ministry. Once the test is finished, SOEs will be ready to produce them,” he said.

Read also: Indonesia waives import levies for COVID-19 antivirus development, allocates Rp 1t for medical needs

Several state-owned firms like weapons producer PT Pindad, electronics producer PT LEN and aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia have announced plans to convert some of their production lines to produce ventilators.

Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro also said on a separate occasion that Indonesia could have its first locally made ventilators by April 25.

“PT Indofarma has agreed to take the ventilators and become the offtaker for them,” said Arya, referring to Bio Farma’s subsidiary.

The government is easing trade requirements for businesses importing medical equipment and medicine needed to handle the pandemic.

"We have also eliminated the import duty for medicines paid by the government," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on March 16.

The same will be done for medical aid and COVID-19 testing devices sent by other countries, she added.