Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Indonesia is set to receive the first delivery of ventilators for COVID-19 patients donated by the United States in early June, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.
Foreign Ministry official Achmad Rizal Purnama said in a press briefing that the ventilators were discussed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a phone call earlier in the day.
Rizal said that the ventilators might also arrive later this month.
The donation of the ventilators is the result of a previous call between President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and President Donald Trump in April, during which the two leaders agreed to build cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in their respective countries, including finding ways to overcome shortages of medical equipment.
According to a statement issued by the State Palace shortly after the talk, President Trump spoke about his country's efforts to produce ventilators and said he would send equipment to Indonesia once it was ready.
During Wednesday's phone call between the two senior diplomats, Rizal said that Minister Retno also underlined the urgency of the procurement of affordable vaccines for COVID-19.
"Ibu Retno asserted the importance of US' leadership regarding the procurement of affordable vaccine, especially for the developing and less-developed countries," Rizal said.
During the phone call, Retno and Pompeo also talked about the latest development on the issue of Afghanistan, with Retno underlining the importance of the ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government in order to respect the celebration of Idul Fitri a couple of days ago.
"Ibu Retno said she believed that this development was crucial to accelerate the peace building process, particularly to push the Intra-Afghan dialogue," Rizal said.
Retno and Pompeo also discussed the issue of Palestine, with Retno asserting that Indonesia's position was to always support the struggle of the Palestinian people.