The first shipment of five ventilators from a total of 33 units jointly procured by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for Indonesia arrived in Jakarta on Monday.
“The ventilators will be symbolically given to the BNPB [National Disaster Mitigation Agency],” communications head of UNDP Indonesia Tomi Soetjipto said in a press statement on Tuesday.
“Ventilators are important devices that are greatly needed for COVID-19 patients,” he added.
For severely ill COVID-19 patients whose lungs have been damaged by the coronavirus, a ventilator pushes oxygen-rich air into the lungs, helping the patient to breathe normally. The ventilator is expected to give the patient time to fight off the virus and recover. However, the survival rate for COVID-19 patients on ventilators is not yet clear.
“Globally, there has been a high demand for essential equipment to treat COVID-19, so these ventilators will make a significant impact in providing critical care to those patients worst affected, across the country,” WHO Representative to Indonesia N. Paranietharan said in the statement.
The joint effort of UN organizations to assist Indonesia will provide a total of 33 ventilators over the course of four weeks at an estimated cost of US$762,460. The WHO will provide a total of 27 ventilators supported through a partnership with the Japanese government, meanwhile, the IOM and the UNDP will provide three ventilators each.
“In complement, the UNDP together with the rest of the United Nations development system will intensify its support to cushion the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on the Indonesian people and prepare for a green sustainable recovery in close partnership with the government,” UNDP resident representative Christophe Bahuet said.
Chief of mission of the IOM, Louis Hoffmann, added that the delivery of the ventilators was funded by the Australian government as part of a larger package of critical, life-saving supplies and equipment that the IOM will deliver to the country.
Previously, Indonesia was set to receive the first delivery of ventilators from the United States in early June, as a result of a call between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and US President Donald Trump in April.
Domestically, the Research and Technology Ministry along with the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) had stated that Indonesia would start producing 100 to 300 ventilators starting in early June, with state-owned weapons manufacturer Pindad, hospital equipment maker PT Poly Jaya Medikal, electronics manufacturer PT LEN and automotive holding company Dharma Group among those involved in the manufacturing process.