The Jakarta Post
A shipment of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits arrived on April 24 as part of South Korea's US$500,000 grant-in-kind to help Indonesia battle the COVID-19 outbreak on its shores.
South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Kim Chang-beom handed over the consignment of donated equipment to Indonesia's national COVID-19 task force on their arrival in Jakarta.
“This donation of test kits is a follow-up to the South Korean government’s commitment to prioritize Indonesia in COVID-19 mitigation cooperation,” Kim said on Friday during a press briefing at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) in Jakarta.
“[We face] good times and hardships together," the South Korean ambassador added.
Seoul has sent enough test kits to analyze up to 32,200 samples, while it sent an earlier consignment of electric pump sprayers that arrived in Indonesia on April 8.
During Friday’s press briefing, Foreign Ministry's director for East Asian and Pacific affairs Santo Darmosumarto expressed his appreciation to South Korea.
Seoul has been a strategic partner to Jakarta since 2017.
“We welcome and express our great appreciation to not only the South Korean government, but also its citizens who have always been close partners and friends to Indonesia,” said Santo.
In a separate statement, the South Korean embassy said that the two countries would continue to maintain close communications on COVID-19 mitigation, including humanitarian aid.
“We hope that the PCR test kits distributed by the government of the Republic of Korea can help improve the COVID-19 testing capacity of Indonesia, as the country is facing difficulties in procuring health equipment,” the statement said.
In a phone conversation on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo and South Korean President Moon Jae-In individually expressed their hopes of increasing cooperation between Jakarta and Seoul during the pandemic.
Several South Korean conglomerates have also pledged to supply medical equipment to Indonesia's COVID-19 mitigation effort.
On Friday, Indonesia reported 8,211 confirmed cases and 689 deaths, while South Korea reported 10,700 cumulative cases and 240 deaths. Globally, around 2.8 million people have contracted COVID-19 and 197,000 people have died of the disease.