SINGAPORE: Singapore sent medical supplies and equipment to Indonesia on Friday (Jul 9) amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said.
Indonesia on Thursday reported a new daily record of 38,391 COVID-19 infections and 852 more fatalities from the disease, its second-highest daily death toll, official data showed.
More than 2.4 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic, with 63,760 deaths.
"Singapore stands in solidarity with Indonesia against the surge of COVID-19," said MFA in a press statement.
"In response to Indonesia’s request, the Singapore Government has provided an initial tranche of medical supplies and equipment including oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, ventilators and personal protective equipment such as surgical and N95 masks, gloves, and gowns to support Indonesia’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic," said the ministry.
Two Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft left Paya Lebar Air Base for Jakarta on Friday morning.
Multiple government agencies in both Singapore and Indonesia worked in close cooperation to arrange the dispatch of the medical supplies at short notice, MFA added.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan handed over the medical supplies and equipment to the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Suryo Pratomo at Paya Lebar Air Base.
"For the last one and a half years, we have all been coping with the unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 has caused us," said Dr Balakrishnan in his remarks at the ceremony for the handover.
With the spread of the Delta variant across the world in the last few months, the challenge has "intensified", the minister said.
"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," he added.
Last year, Singapore sent COVID-19 test kits along with other equipment to Indonesia.
"In return – I think many people may not be aware – when we had to establish community care facilities very quickly, the Republic of Indonesia was very helpful to us in supplying essential equipment and furniture which we needed to outfit this," said Dr Balakrishnan.
"So now, at their point in need, we stand in solidarity with them in support. 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."
"This is a physical manifestation of the strength of our relationship and our solidarity with the people of Indonesia," added the minister.
The Singapore Armed Forces and Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) are working closely together, said Dr Balakrishnan, adding that the operation would not be possible without the direct participation of both forces.
An "additional tranche of assistance" will be delivered through the Singapore Navy.