Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia will be able to produce up to 16,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) units per day to fight the COVID-19, Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita announced on April 15.

The ministry is cooperating with the domestic textile association and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to produce PPE that meet World Health Organisation (WHO)’s standards, said Agus following his meeting with President Joko Widodo.

PPE is the main protection for medical workers at the vanguard of the battle against COVID-19. However, Indonesia had experienced a shortage of PPE stockpiles, which had an adverse effect on the safety of doctors and medical workers.

When the COVID-19 began to spread, many medical personnel and doctors were using unsuitable and inadequate protective gears such as disposable raincoats due to the shortage of PPEs.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in the meeting that the availability of medical devices, medicines, and pharmaceutical raw materials must be ensured for now and in the future. This also pertains to the availability of PPEs for doctors and medical personnel, he said.

The president asked ministers and heads of institutions to reevaluate all the potential resources of the domestic industry, such as the pharmaceutical raw material industry, the PPE industry, masks, and ventilators.

He also reiterated that exports of goods related to handling COVID-19 must be allowed selectively with domestic needs prioritised, and the import of raw materials for making medical devices and pharmaceutical goods to combat the COVID-19 facilitated./.