Australia announces support for Indonesia as COVID-19 cases surge

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday July 8, 2021

Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne
Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)

Australia will provide Indonesia with immediate health support to assist the country with its COVID-19 response, foreign affairs minister Marise Payne has announced.

On Wednesday Indonesia reported its highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths in one day, at 34,379 and 1,040 respectively.

Payne has announced, after speaking with Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi, that Australia will provide a support package to the country, which includes 2.5 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to be delivered this year.

The package also provides $12 million for medical equipment — including 1000 ventilators, up to 700 oxygen concentrators, and more than 170 oxygen cylinders — and more than 40,000 rapid-antigen test kits.

READ MORE: Commonwealth commits $50m to COVAX

Payne said Australian support would extend rapid testing capacity, maintain existing health services, and assist with emergency medical facilities.

“Australia stands with our close partner and neighbour Indonesia as it responds to a significant surge in COVID-19 cases,” she said.

“Further to Prime Minister Morrison’s announcement at the G7 Summit to provide at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccines for the Indo-Pacific region by mid-2022, 2.5 million of these vaccine doses will be shared with Indonesia to support its national vaccine roll-out.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has loaned Indonesia $1.5 billion to support its COVID-19 health and economic response, and has sent 100 non-invasive ventilators and other medical and laboratory equipment to the country.

Other measures Australia has taken to support Indonesia, according to Payne, include $101.9 million for its vaccine roll-out through the Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, as well as through the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment, and the Quad Vaccine Partnership.

READ MORE: Solidarity no more. Vaccine nationalism separates the world’s haves from have-nots


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