Singapore is helping out its larger neighbour in the fight against Covid-19 by transporting assistance packages to Indonesia.
According to a Facebook post by the Ministry of Defence on Friday (July 9), two aircraft from The Republic of Singapore Air Force left Paya Lebar Air Base to Indonesia with the packages.
Mindef added that Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan handed over the packages over to Indonesia's Ambassador Suryo Pratomo at the air base.
The assistance packages included contributions from Mindef and the Singapore Armed Forces that will be given to Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian National Armed Forces.
Another batch of supplies will be transported to Indonesia by the Republic of Singapore Navy via their Landing Ship Tank.
The ministry reaffirmed the "close and long-standing bilateral defence ties" between the two countries, and said that Singapore supports Indonesia in its fight against Covid-19.Indonesia's Embassy also shared the same photos in a Facebook post of their own.
It said that Indonesia received an assistance package from Singapore, which includes ventilators, oxygen cylinders and medical supplies.
Ambassador Suryo Pratomo extended his appreciation to the government of Singapore for transporting medical supplies to Indonesia several times, and hopes that the assistance can help the country fight this pandemic.
Communicated with Singapore, China for assistance
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said in a virtual press conference that the country had contacted Singapore and China for assistance if the number of daily cases rose up to 40,000, Tempo reported.
“Therefore, we have prepared (to face) all the scenarios, regarding medicine, oxygen and hospitals. If someone previously said that we need help from abroad, we have communicated with Singapore, we also communicated with China," he said as reported by CNA.
Separately, Luhut also mentioned that Indonesia had received 10,000 units of oxygen from Singapore.
"We ordered 10 thousand (units) and some of them have arrived on a Hercules jet from Singapore," he said as reported by Antara News.
The report further added that the oxygen units will be distributed to those experiencing mild Covid-19 symptoms.
Epidemiologist: Preparation "cannot be delayed"
Indonesian epidemiologist, Dicky Budiman, said that any mitigating plans cannot be delayed.
As reported by Tempo, Dicky requested the Indonesian government to not wait until cases reached 40,000 per day.
"Mitigation is about preparing early, now. It cannot be delayed," he told the news agency.
The epidemiologist from Griffith University also said that Indonesia should not "ask (for) everything" from foreign nations. For instance, Indonesia still has enough health workers to deal with the pandemic.
But assistance like vaccines, drugs and medical supplies would be welcome.
On July 8, there were 38,391 new Covid-19 cases and 852 daily deaths reported in Indonesia.
Top image via Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF)/Facebook