"We will make all industrial use of oxygen to cater the need for supplying medical oxygen. The oxygen shortage will be resolved if all industrial oxygen focuses on producing pharmaceutical oxygen," state news agency Antara quoted Luhut as saying on Monday, July 5.
The ministry's spokesperson Jodi Mahardi explained the decision to import oxygen will be taken following its limited supply in the country.
"The supply of our medical oxygen is limited. Therefore, the government will continue to provide and seek oxygen in various ways from the local industry and the imported products," Jodi said in the daily press briefing during emergency Covid-19 measures on Sunday, July 4.
"We urge the public not to stockpile oxygen as our priority is to save lives at this time," Jodi added.
Meanwhile, Jakarta Administration has provided an oxygen filling station at the National Monument area in Central Jakarta.
A spokesperson for Jakarta Provincial Secretariat Suharti said the oxygen filling station is provided for all hospitals across Jakarta.
"The Jakarta Administration wants to ensure that the oxygen supply at the hospitals is adequate. We are trying to collaborate with other parties to help supply oxygen by using tubes and tube filling," said Suharti on Sunday, July 4.
Suharti said the Jakarta Administration is collaborating with state firm Krakatau Steel in Cilegon, Banten to fill empty oxygen cylinders. "On Sunday, 250 oxygen gas cylinders with a capacity of six cubic meters have been refilled for 25 hospitals in Jakarta," she said, adding that the station will open during the handling of Covid-19 in the capital.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, has seen a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks. The Health Ministry recorded 27,233 new cases with 555 deaths from the virus on Sunday. The country has recorded more than 2,284,000 cases, including 60,582 deaths since the first two confirmed cases were announced in March last year.
(Writers: Dian Erika Nugraheny, Singgih Wiryono, Nur Rohmi Aida, Mutia Fauzia| Editors: Icha Rastika, Dani Prabowo, Rendika Ferri Kurniawan, Mutia Fauzia)
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