Skip to main content
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
Get full digital access to globeandmail.com
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
// //

A man wearing a protective mask queues to refill oxygen tanks as Indonesia experiences an oxygen supply shortage amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, at a filling station in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 5, 2021.

WILLY KURNIAWAN/Reuters

Parts of Indonesia lack oxygen supplies as the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients who need it increases, the nation’s pandemic response leader said Monday, after dozens of sick people died at a public hospital that ran out of its central supply.

“Due to an increase of three to four times in the amount (of oxygen) needed, the distribution has been hampered,” said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the co-ordinating maritime affairs and investment minister.

The government is asking oxygen producers to dedicate their full supply to medical needs and will import it if needed, Pandjaitan said at a virtual news conference.

Story continues below advertisement

The statement comes after Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikit said the government guaranteed oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients on June 25.

At least 63 COVID-19 patients have died during treatment at Dr. Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta city since Saturday – 33 of them during the outage of its central liquid oxygen supply even though the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders during that period, hospital spokesman Banu Hermawan said.

“Their deteriorating condition contributed the most to their deaths,” Hermawan said.

The hospital’s central oxygen supply was operational again at 4:45 a.m. Sunday after 15 tons of liquid oxygen were delivered. Medical oxygen comes in liquid and compressed forms.

Yogyakarta Gov. Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X said hospitals need more oxygen than before because of the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the province.

“We need more oxygen supply. But it does not mean there is no supply at all,” he said.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a parliamentary commission overseeing health issues on Monday that his ministry has set up a special unit to deal with oxygen supplies in hospitals amid a dramatic spike in cases on Java and Bali islands.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have identified oxygen needs in each hospital, and set up oxygen task forces in each province,” Sadikin said in a virtual hearing with the lawmakers.

He said his ministry has asked the Industry Ministry to convert oxygen that was previously allocated to industry to hospital use.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, has seen a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. The Health Ministry recorded 29,745 new cases with 558 deaths from the virus on Monday. The country has recorded more than 2,313,000 cases, including 61,140 deaths.

Pandjaitan said the incubation period means the number of infected people will continue to increase through mid-July.

“It can increase again in the future if we cannot be disciplined,” he said.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies