Industry Ministry, Gas Association Join Hands to Meet Oxygen Supply at Hospitals Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

By : Nata Kesuma | Saturday, June 26 2021 - 15:45 IWST

Ministry of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita (Photo: PR of Ministry of Industry)
Ministry of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita (Photo: PR of Ministry of Industry) - Ministry of Industry has announced that it is collaborating with the Indonesian Industrial Gas Association (AGII) and related industry players to ensure the availability of medical oxygen supply or other necessities needed by the hospitals treating COVID-19 patients throughout Indonesia.

The Ministry said that this measure is expected to improve measures to deal with the spike in COVID-19 cases in several regions.

“Ministry of Industry has discussed with gas associations related to oxygen shortages in several hospitals in Central Java province. They are committed to providing oxygen supply from factories in West Java province and East Java province. We will continue to ensure that oxygen needs in hospitals are met and the association has agreed to it,” said Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Thursday (24/6).

The Minister also expressed hope that electricity supply for the industry will run smoothly with no disruption because if the electricity goes out, production machines need eight hours to return to operation.

“Therefore, I hope that the industries which supply oxygen gas for medical use will receive uninterrupted electricity supply. We have asked state electricity company (PLN) to ensure power supply,” said Agus.

Agus also called on for easy access for tanker trucks which carry oxygen on certain roads to hospitals.

“There are some roads that oxygen tanker trucks are not allowed to pass due to the heavy weight,” he said.

For the record, medical oxygen is supplied in liquid form since many hospitals already have oxygen gas installations.

“The number of oxygen cylinders in Central Java province is still sufficient. Should there is a shortage, the hospital can use the manufacturer’s cylinders or use stock in West Java and East Java provinces,” the Minister said.

Agus went on to say that the Ministry would also coordinate with regional governments to update the oxygen demand data in the regions, especially at hospitals that accommodate COVID-19 patients.

The measure, he said, is expected to ensure that the oxygen supply is in accordance with the needs of the area and local hospitals.

Agus also pointed out that production capacity of oxygen gas in Indonesia reaches 650 million tons per year in which 300 million tons of them is integrated with users.

The industry’s average utilization of oxygen gas is currently around 80 percent because it really depends on the location. As of June 2021, there have been seven million liters of oxygen ordered.

“Production and distribution of oxygen gas is prioritized for the needs of hospitals and health facilities in dealing with the surge in COVID-19 cases. The oxygen gas for industrial needs is prioritized second after the hospitals. To date, those arrangements are still under control,” Agus said.

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