Singapore sends medical aid to help Indonesia's COVID fight

Singapore’s assistance package being loaded into the Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft. (PHOTO: Ministry of Defence, Singapore)
Singapore’s assistance package being loaded into the Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft. (PHOTO: Ministry of Defence, Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore has provided an initial tranche of medical supplies and equipment to Indonesia to assist in the neighbouring country's battle against a surge in COVID-19 infections.

In a media release on Friday (9 July), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that the supplies include oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, ventilators as well as personal protective equipment such as surgical and N95 masks, gloves, and gowns.

Two Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft left Paya Lebar Air Base on Friday to transport the supplies and equipment to Jakarta, after Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan handed over to Suryo Pratomo, Indonesia's ambassador to Singapore.

"For the last one and a half years, we have all been coping with the unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 has caused us. In the last few months, with the spread of the Delta variant across the world, this challenge has intensified," he said during the handover at Paya Lebar Air Base.

"The situation in Indonesia right now is also due to the spread of the Delta variant, and as close neighbours and partners, we stand in solidarity with all the people of Indonesia."

Similar assistance to Indonesia in April 2020

In April last year, Singapore had also assisted Indonesia in the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It contributed 30,000 diagnostic tests and five polymerase chain reaction machines for the detection of the coronavirus, as well as 1,050 sets of personal protective equipment, 100 viral transport media, and four thermal scanners.

Those items were deployed in Jakarta, the Riau Islands, and North Sumatra.

In return, Dr Balakrishnan said that Indonesia was very helpful in supplying essential equipment and furniture which Singapore needed to outfit community care facilities very quickly.

"It is this kind of mutual support that represents the strength of our relationship – not just at the government-to-government level, but at the people-to people-level," he added.

Multiple government agencies in both Singapore and Indonesia, such as the Singapore Armed Forces, Republic of Singapore Navy, and the Indonesian National Defence Forces, will be working in close cooperation to arrange the dispatch of the medical supplies on short notice.

Besides Indonesia, Singapore had also sent a consignment of oxygen cylinders to support India’s COVID-19 pandemic response in April this year.

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