Indonesia is struggling with oxygen deficiency amid a rise in cases of coronavirus in the country.
Between Saturday and early Sunday local time, 63 patients died at a hospital on one of the country’s islands, Java, after their oxygen supply was almost depleted, CNN reported.
Although the hospital had attempted to acquire more resources, the oxygen supply was depleted faster than expected after the hospital experienced a surge of COVID-19 patients exceeding its capacity. The hospital was able to receive new supplies early Sunday morning.
A spokesman for the hospital could not confirm to CNN if all the dead patients were COVID-1
As a whole, the daily oxygen demand in Indonesia almost exceeds production. The AP reports that demand has reached 1,928 tonnes of oxygen per day, and government data says the available production capacity is 2,262 tonnes per day.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s minister responsible for the country’s pandemic response, said on Friday it received a shipment from Singapore of 1,000 fans, oxygen cylinders and other supplies, The Associated Press reported. He said they also received a shipment from Australia with an additional 1,000 fans.
Pandjaitan added that the country planned to buy 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators from Singapore, according to the wire service.
“I asked for 100% oxygen for medical purposes first, which means all industrial allocations must be transferred to medical,” Pandjaitan said, according to the AP. “We’re running against time, we need to work fast.”
It is a completely different picture than two months ago, when Indonesia supplied oxygen to India, where the delta variant was first identified.
The need for oxygen comes after the country donated about 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India at the height of the country’s wave. However, plans to send an additional 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in mid-June were canceled as the number of cases increased in Indonesia, according to the AP.
Since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports the country has seen 2.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 64,000 confirmed deaths from the disease. The AP notes that these figures are expected to be higher due to poor contact tracking and low testing.
The country experienced its highest number of confirmed deaths on Wednesday with 1,040 deaths. The number of cases has also increased over 30,000 per. Day in the last few days, according to WHO data.
During a press conference on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiCawthorn: Biden Door-to-Door Vaccine Strategy Can Be Used to ‘Take’ Weapons, Bibles Overnight Defense: Taliban Target Afghan Air Force Pilots | Haiti calls on US security forces amid unrest Haiti calls on US security forces to protect infrastructure amid unrest MORE said the United States planned to send three million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Indonesia.
“We are also moving forward with plans to increase aid to Indonesia’s broader COVID-19 efforts. “We recognize the difficult situation that Indonesia is currently in with an increase in COVID cases, and our thoughts are with all those in Indonesia who are affected,” said Psaki.