Health Ministry Ensures Ample Oxygen Supplies for COVID-19 Patients

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin attends a meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Thursday, April 8, 2021. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin attends a meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Thursday, April 8, 2021. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaHealth Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin ensured sufficient supplies of oxygen for COVID-19 patients. Budi previously said oxygen production in Indonesia was mostly for industrial use at 75 percent and only 25 percent allocated for medical purposes.

    Due to the dramatic spike in cases, suppliers reportedly committed to shifting the production capacity. “There is a commitment from local firms that they are ready to supply medical oxygen at 75 percent [of their production capacity. So, our oxygen stock is still enough,” said Budi in an online press conference on Friday, June 25.

    When asked about the shortage of oxygen supplies at hospitals in Yogyakarta and Central Java some time ago, Budi explained this was due to technical issues during the production process.

    “The factory was forced to stop because of interrupted electricity supplies, so the machines needed time to restart,” he added.

    To prevent such incidents from recurring, the government has coordinated with the state-owned electricity firm to ensure a stable supply of electricity for all oxygen plants in Java. “We have also discussed this with oxygen producers.”

    The government has also coordinated with the Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander and the National Police Chief to ensure the safety of logistics and large trucks carrying oxygen.

    Budi Gunadi Sadikin further asserted that the supplies of oxygen cylinders were still adequate. The Industry Ministry still has 3,000 units in stock and domestic producers are ready to boost production. “There is no shortage in oxygen cylinders, but because of rising demand, the distribution must be maintained,” he said.

    Read: COVID-19 Vaccination at Bandung Hospital Attracts Thousands

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