Parts of Indonesia lack oxygen supplies as the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients who need it increases reported, the nation’s pandemic response leader on Monday, after dozens of sick people died at a public hospital that ran out of its central supply.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the coordinating maritime affairs and investment minister, “Due to an increase of three to four times the amount (of oxygen) needed, the distribution has been hampered.”
At the virtual news conference Pandjaitan said, to dedicate their fully supply to medical needs the government is asking oxygen producers to provide them and if needed they will import it. This statement comes after Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikit said the government guaranteed oxygen supply for coronavirus patients on June 26.
At Dr. Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta city since Saturday, at least 63 COVID-19 patients died during treatment and 33 of them during the outage of its central liquid oxygen supply even though the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders during that period, said the hospital spokesman Banu Hermawan.
“Their deteriorating condition contributed the most to their deaths,” Hermawan said.
Yogyakarta Gov. Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X said the hospitals needed more oxygen than they needed before because of the rapidly rising number of coronavirus patients in the area. It was reported that after 15 tons of liquid oxygen were delivered the hospital’s central oxygen supply was operational again at 4:45 a.m. Sunday. While the Medical oxygen comes in liquid and compressed forms.
“We need more oxygen supply. But it does not mean there is no supply at all,” he said.
The world’s fourth-most populous country Indonesia, has seen a rapid spike in coronavirus cases in the last two weeks.
According to the Health Ministry they reported 27,233 new cases with 555 deaths from the virus on Sunday. Moreover, the country has recorded more than 2,284,000 cases, including 60,582 deaths. “It can increase again in the future if we cannot be disciplined,” Pandjaitan said.
He noted that the incubation period means the number of people infected will continuously increase through mid-July.