Indonesia Claims It Conducted 15,000 COVID-19 PCR Tests

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaAchmad Yurianto, the Indonesian spokesman for the COVID-19 mitigation, claimed the government had conducted a total of 15,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR tests for the detection of the novel coronavirus infection.

    The tests, he added, resulted in the number of positive cases up to 2,956 as of April 8, 2020.

    “We have carried out more than 15,000 tests,” said Yurianto on Wednesday, April 8, adding that some 200,000 reagents needed for the testing are available.

    According to him, the PCR test is the final test to support a diagnosis. Before it, the government carried out rapid tests to screen the people who are potentially infected with the new coronavirus. The rapid test aims at checking the level of immunoglobulin in a person's blood.

    Yurianto elaborated that with the initial screening, the percentage of positive cases to pass the PCR test was pretty high. “We don’t do the PCR testing randomly, but it is selected and structured,” he remarked.

    The government was striving to increase the daily capacity to conduct the PCR testing by bringing in such test kits from Switzerland. The State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Ministry’s special staffer Arya Sinulingga confirmed that 20 PCR test kits for COVID-19 detection arrived from Roche.

    The test kits, which will be distributed to several provinces, are expected to boost the number of test capacity by up to 10,000 per day. In Jakarta, the PCR test kits are targeted to be ready for operation next week.

    M ROSSENO AJI