SIngapore has arranged for regular shipments of emergency oxygen supplies to Indonesia, under a programme to support its neighbouring country’s fight against Covid-19.

The Oxygen Shuttle programme will see more than 500 tonnes of oxygen shipped to Indonesia till August, to supplement the urgent need at medical facilities there, the Singaporean foreign ministry said in a statement on July 19.

This comes as Indonesia faces a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

The country reported a record 1,338 new Covid-19 deaths on July 19, pushing its total fatalities to 74,920.

The number of new cases recorded on July 19 was 34,257, bringing the overall infections to more than 2.91 million.

On July 19, four tanks containing 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen arrived at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta. The next shipment is scheduled in a week’s time.

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said the shipments under the programme will be done on a weekly basis over the next month. In a Facebook post on July 19, he said 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen can fill about 10,000 cylinders with oxygen gas.

Teo added that he has been in touch with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan, who is overseeing the nation’s Covid-19 response.

“We will do our utmost to ride out this tough time together with Indonesia,” he noted.

The programme is coordinated by the Singaporean foreign ministry, and supported by the defence ministry and the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre.

In addition, the Singapore government sent oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies and equipment to Indonesia on July 9 and 11.

The foreign ministry said: “These efforts, as well as the contributions organised by non-government and private entities, attest to the close relationship, solidarity and strong mutual support between Singapore and Indonesia in overcoming the shared challenges of Covid-19.”