SINGAPORE – A Republic of Singapore Navy vessel set sail for Indonesia’s Tanjung Priok on Sunday morning (July 11), carrying oxygen to supplement the country’s fight against Covid-19.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said in a Facebook post that the ship carried two tanks with 40 tonnes of liquid oxygen,500 cylinders of oxygen and 570 oxygen concentrators.
The delivery came after phone calls between Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan – who is coordinating the nation’s Covid-19 response – and Mr Teo, said the latter in his post.
“I assured him that Singapore will do our utmost, and work together to overcome this pandemic together,” said Mr Teo.
Sunday’s shipment of oxygen to Indonesia follows the dispatch of two planeloads of medical supplies to Indonesia from Singapore. These included ventilators, masks, gloves and gowns.
The Singapore government dispatched the emergency oxygen supplies and equipment in response to Indonesia’s request, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Sunday.
“As Indonesia’s close neighbour and partner, Singapore will continue to work in close cooperation with Indonesia to support their efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the MFA spokesman.
Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, who was at Paya Lebar Air Base to preside over a handover ceremony of the medical supplies last Friday morning, said Singaporeans stand in solidarity with Indonesia in its fight against the pandemic.
Singapore tightened border measures for travellers from Indonesia on Saturday, following a spike in Covid-19 cases there.
The Health Ministry said approvals for travellers from Indonesia who are not citizens or permanent residents of Singapore would be reduced with immediate effect.
Indonesia reported 35,094 Covid-19 cases and 826 deaths on Saturday, bringing its total so far to more than 2.49 million cases and 65,457 deaths.
The Indonesian authorities extended Covid-19 restrictions to 15 new locations across the archipelago last Friday, in a bid to avert the crisis seen on the island of Java, where hospitals are being pushed to the limit, oxygen supplies are low, and four of five designated Covid-19 burial grounds in the capital Jakarta are close to full.