Gov’t Prepares Medicine Packages for COVID-19 Patients Self-Isolating at Home
The Government has announced it will provide 300,000 packages of therapeutic medicines for free for COVID-19 patients with no symptom and mild symptoms who are carrying out self-isolation at home.
“President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has given order that starting Wednesday this week, the Government will provide 300,000 free medicine packages,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment as well as Deputy Chair of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Working Committee (KPCPEN) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.
The package allocations are Package 1 (10 percent) for asymptomatic patients, Package 2 (60 percent) for patients with symptoms of fever and loss of sense of smell (anosmia), and Package 3 (30 percent) for patients with symptoms of fever and cough.
“These drug packages can reach 210,000 people with active cases and this program will continue to run for the next few months. The procedure has been prepared and the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), together with other institutions, will manage the distribution,” Luhut said.
In addition, Luhut said, the Government will also immediately provide social assistancs in the form of rice to the community which will be distributed by the TNI and the National Police.
“The Government will distribute the social assistance to regions that have rice shortages starting this Wednesday. There are five kilograms and ten kilograms of rice packs,” he said.
The Minister went on to say that the Pondok Gede Hajj Dormitory Hospital had also started operation to treat COVID-19 patients, adding that the Government has also prepared field hospitals in a number of areas in the country.
“The Central Government has ordered the TNI to open field hospitals, especially the ICU facilities, in Bandung, Semarang, East Java (province), and Bali,” Luhut said, adding that the Government also continues to ensure the availability of medicines and medical devices for handling COVID-19 patients.
“We currently lack Remdesivir and Actemra drugs. Minister of Health is working on licensing for Actemra so that we can produce it at home,” said Luhut.
Regarding the fulfillment of oxygen needs, Luhut said that the Government continues to manage it through a cooperation between Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing and Ministry of SOEs.
The Government is also in the process of importing 40,000 tons liquid oxygen and 50,000 canisters of oxygen concentrators, he said.
Meanwhile regarding vaccination drive, Luhut underscored that the Government will continue to boost vaccination coverage especially for marginal areas.
“We are going to widen vaccination coverage to marginal areas carried out by the TNI-Police and also the health offices. It will start running within this week,” he said.
With all the handling efforts that have been carried out together, Luhut expressed hope that the pandemic can be immediately under control.
“The vaccination drive, the social restrictions, the establishment of emergency hospitals, and the fulfillment of medicines and oxygen supply altogether are expected to improve the current situation in the next 4-5 days,” he remarked. (DND/UN) (EST/EP)