Indonesia to produce COVID-19 test kits, ventilators by late May

13 May, 2020 | Source: Antara News

Indonesia will produce COVID-19 test kits and ventilators by late May of 2020, Minister of Research and Technology/Head of the National Research and Innovation Board Bambang Brodjonegoro stated.

"There has been encouraging development in the production of test kits, including rapid test kits and PCR. The rapid test kits are currently undergoing validation testing and registration with the Health Ministry," he noted here on Monday.

"We have targeted to produce 50 thousand to 100 thousand synthetic peptide-based rapid test kits. The production capacity of rapid test kits may reach up to 100 thousand units per month," he remarked.

The country is also in the process of developing three more types of rapid test kits. It takes one to two months to produce them, he noted.

In connection with the plan to produce ventilators, he remarked that the Health Ministry’s Health Facility Security Board has tested four prototypes of ventilators that are currently undergoing clinical testing.

"One of the four that comes from ITB (the Bandung Institute of technology) has undergone clinical test and is expected to enter production phase soon," he noted.

Brodjonegoro echoed the readiness of domestic producers to manufacture COVID-19 test kits.

As of Sunday, the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling had recorded 14,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country, with 2,698 recoveries and 973 deaths.

Government spokesman for the COVID-19 task force Achmad Yurianto has warned of the increased trend of asymptomatic persons (OTG) testing positive for the coronavirus.

"Initially, we defined the classical spread by people, with symptoms of high body temperature of more than 38 degrees Celsius, cough, and shortness of breath. However, during the course of its development, these have not become specific symptoms of COVID-19 infection," Yurianto remarked during a press conference of the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling here on Sunday.

The spokesman noted that the government had found more people to have tested positive for COVID-19 during a PCR test but exhibited only mild symptoms or at times presenting no symptoms of the disease.

The OTG would not exhibit any symptoms, such as fever and cough, and they appeared healthy. If they visit crowded places without wearing masks, then they might transmit the virus to several people, including those from vulnerable groups.

"This has become one factor in the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia," he stated.


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