JAKARTA: Indonesia is preparing to import liquid oxygen from neighbouring countries to meet surging need as the country struggles with a rapid spike in coronavirus infections.
Producers Linde Group, Air Products and Chemicals Inc, Air Liquide SA and Iwatani Corp are ready to ship liquid oxygen to the country from facilities in Singapore and Malaysia, which would take one week to arrive, Fridy Juwono, director for upstream chemicals at the industry ministry, said by phone today.
Local producers are struggling to address the oxygen shortage as Southeast Asia’s virus hotspot breaches new records in infections and deaths.
Hospitals are overwhelmed, with the bed occupancy rates in many areas already exceeding 100%.
More than 30 patients died in a Yogyakarta hospital on Saturday after it briefly ran out of oxygen supply, CNN Indonesia reported.
On the most-populated island of Java, demand has spiked to as much as five times the normal amount of about 300 tons a day, while the country’s oxygen plants are already operating at full capacity to produce 1,700 tons a day, Juwono said.