Ombudsman Suspects Commercialization of Covid-19 Rapid Test



Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Ombudsman Lely Pelitasari Soebekty said that there are indications of commercialization of Covid-19 rapid test tools.

    "Because this can be the economic law at work," Lely said in a discussion titled 'Perspektif Indonesia' on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

    Lely asserted that during the early period of the Covid-19 pandemic, rapid test tools are rare and costly. Even PCR tests in private hospitals are expensive.

    However, lately, the rapid test has become the main requirement for people who are going to travel on airplanes. Several hospitals in Jakarta also requires patients to pass the rapid test and lung x-ray.

    "So it is different from other service units," Lely said.

    Lely argued that there has to be a standardization of Covid-19 rapid test service both from the cost aspect and the regulation aspect. The government needs to intervene in non-ordinary conditions such as now.

    On the other hand, Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from Universitas Indonesia viewed that rapid test needs to be stopped. He explained that rapid test is not part of the effort to combat Covid-19. Instead, the rapid test is just a method to screen how many people are infected with the virus.

    "So commercialization occurs, using people and using [rapid test] as a requirement to make travels. It is useless," Pandu said.