Philanthropist’s family donates US$138 billion for pandemic relief in South Sumatra

The amount will be used to provide oxygen tanks, medicines, and incentives for health workers, and for the building of a quarantine facility

The family of the late Indonesian philanthropist Akidi Tio donated this week about US$138 billion for pandemic relief efforts to the province of South Sumatra.

“We are proud to accept this from the family members,” said South Sumatra governor Herman Deru, noting that it “is not an insignificant amount.”

The symbolic handover of the donation was done at the South Sumatra police headquarters on July 26 and was witnessed by the local health, military, and police chiefs, among others.

“This is a very extraordinary and very heavy mandate because the money entrusted is large and must be accounted for,” said Hardi Darmawan, the Tio family’s personal doctor and family representative.

The late Akidi Tio was a top business figure in the construction industry.

Darmawan said the donation is primarily intended to help the province of South Sumatra because the family used to live there.

He said the amount will be used to provide oxygen tanks, medicines, and incentives for health workers, and for the construction of a quarantine facility.

The family of the late business figure has been giving donations to communities most affected by the pandemic in the past, said Darmawan.

Akidi Tio, a successful businessman from the City of Langsa, East Aceh, died in 2009 at the age of 89 while his wife died earlier in 2005 at the age of 82. They were both buried in Palembang. They had seven children.

COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia, the hardest-hit country in Southeast Asia’s latest surge, passed 2,000 for the first time on Tuesday, with the country signaling that it may add a booster dose of Sinovac vaccine, due to concerns about protection gaps.

Indonesia’s daily record of 2,069 deaths on Tuesday reflected 600 more fatalities than the nation reported on Monday. New infections have declined but are still at very high levels, with about 45,000 new cases reported.

Though offices are still under shutdown orders, the government has allowed small shops and some restaurants and malls to reopen. So far, only 7% of the country is vaccinated, and officials are falling behind on their plans to give one million shots a day this month.

The country’s health ministry said it is considering a booster dose of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine because of new findings that vaccine-induced antibodies fade over time, according to Reuters.

Sinovac is the country’s main vaccine, but worries about protection have been mounting in the wake of reports that hundreds of vaccinated health workers have died from COVID-19 since June. – with a report from Reuters

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