Coronavirus rapid test kits in Indonesia
We’re almost halfway through the year, and the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t withered away yet. In fact, Indonesia is still seeing a rise in the number of confirmed cases, with 11,192 patients testing positive for the virus as of 3rd May 2020.
Indonesia has a large population, and we are struggling to test our citizens due to a shortage of kits. Up until now, test kits have mostly been imported, but the good news is that locally made rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits that can tell you whether or not you’re COVID-19-positive within 10 minutes are going to be distributed nationwide starting 8th May 2020.
10,000 locally produced test kits will be ready for distribution by 8th May 2020
Image credit: CNN Indonesia
These RDTs, as well as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits that detect antigens, are being developed by a team of Indonesian institutions. Since the PCR kits take longer to build, the production of the RDT kits will be prioritized.
The Minister of Research and Technology Bambang Soemantri Brodjonegoro said that 10,000 kits will be ready by Friday, 8th May 2020, as reported by The Jakarta Globe.
The institutions involved in the developing and manufacturing the RDT kits are the Technology Assessment and Application Agency (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi), Airlangga University, Gadjah Mada University, and medical equipment manufacturer Hepatika.
The advantage of using RDT kits made in Indonesia
Image credit: suara.com
The RDT kit is said to be able to detect the IgG/IgM antibodies in just 10 minutes. Minister Soemantri Brodjonegoro also told The Jakarta Globe that one of the advantages of producing rapid test kits locally is that it can be developed based on locally transmitted strains of the virus, and will hopefully yield more accurate results.
After the first batch of RDT kits roll out this Friday, another batch of up to 50,000 units will be produced by the end of the month.
Waiting out the storm
Updates as of 3rd April 2020 from the COVID-19 task force
Image credit: covid19.go.id
Testing is crucial, especially for those who are not able to stay at home. In order to slow down the climbing number of cases, it is important that people who can work and study at home continue to heed self-quarantine orders.
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Cover image adapted from: CNN Indonesia