Late billionaire donates US$ 134 million to fight against COVID-19 in South Sumatra
by Mathias Hariyadi

Akidi Tio's family makes the donation through the provincial police. Most of the money will be used to buy oxygen supplies, build a self-quarantine facility, and support health workers.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia’s South Sumatra province has received a donation of two trillion Indonesian rupees or US$ 134 million to counter the COVID-19 emergency, from the family of Akidi Tio, a businessman who died a few days ago.

Hardi Darmawan, the donor family’s doctor, handed the money over to South Sumatra Police Chief General Eko Indra Heri in a ceremony attended by South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru and other officials.

General Heri said he had known Akidi Tio when he served in Aceh province, and that managing the money will now be "a great responsibility".

Speaking with local media, Dr Hardi Darmawan explained that the businessman’s last wishes were to help the province fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am personally stunned at being contacted by the Tio family to deliver this aid package,” the doctor said.

Most of the money, he explained, would be used to buy oxygen supplies, build a facility for self- quarantine, and provide financial support to health workers.

With an average of more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases per day, Indonesia is now considered one of the pandemic’s epicentres in Asia.

A leading figure in the construction industry, Akidi Tio, an ethnic Chinese, hailed from Langsa, a city in Aceh province, before moving to Palembang, South Sumatra with his seven children.

He had made donations in the past to local hospitals and long-term care facilities for the elderly.

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