PTFI Expands its Assistance Refilling Medical Oxygen to Asmat Regency
20 August 2021
With PT Freeport Indonesia now capable of producing medical oxygen from its plant in the Lowlands’ Light Industrial Park, the company is expanding its help by providing oxygen to other Papua regions dealing with an overflow of COVID-19.
Asmat Regency, Mimika’s neigboring regency, was desperately seeking assistance after a new wave of COVID-19 cases began to overwhelm the regency’s healthcare systems. In June, the local government sent out distress calls including to PTFI, asking for help handling a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
The Asmat Regency government initially was hesitant that PTFI would help them, as they knew the more severe Delta variant had badly hit almost every region in Papua. In addition, Asmat was not within the PTFI scope of area for community development initiatives.
“On behalf of the local government and Asmat people, I would like to thank Freeport for its generosity. Unfortunately, we had troubles with our oxygen refilling machine, such bad timing because it happened during the surging of COVID-19 cases. It’s truly a blessing that Freeport Indonesia was able to resolve this dire situation,” said Elisa Kambu, Asmat Regent.
In July, PTFI was granted a permit from the government to convert one of its oxygen plants to produce much-needed medical oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients. Since then, PTFI has continuously supplied medical oxygen to hospitals in Mimika, as the deadly Delta variant continues to ravage the region that lacks capability to deal with such crises.
“We are glad that PTFI is now capable of producing much-needed medical oxygen and even assisting another region in handling the virus. Hopefully, this assistance will help Asmat Regency overcome COVID-19 cases there,” said Jonny Lingga, PTFI Vice President-Government Relations.
Lingga said that PTFI assistance to Asmat Regency is the first time the company sent its own-manufactured medical oxygen outside Mimika and coordinated with the regional health office to do so.
The first phase of the oxygen donation sent 50 oxygen cylinders to Asmat. A second shipment will send another 100 oxygen cylinders to hospitals in Asmat. With its capacity to produce medical oxygen, PTFI had provided nearly 600 oxygen cylinders to hospitals in Mimika Regency.
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