Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) asked Indonesians to be ready to face a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.
“Please do not be surprised to see a rise in new COVID-19 cases next week. Technically, it should be like that, so we can accelerate the process of mitigating the pandemic,” said BNPB second acting deputy, Dody Ruswandi, during a virtual hearing with Parliament on Tuesday (12 May).
He added that the surge in the COVID-19 figure is in line with the numbers of people tested.
The COVID-19 task force is developing Indonesia’s human resources quality and laboratories’ capacity.
Should the massive test be conducted thoroughly, Indonesia’s COVID-19 curve peak will be likely in early June, Dody stated.
Dody said the government would be expected to conduct 40,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests across the archipelagic nation.
PCR test in public places
PCR tests are used to diagnose COVID-19 infection by taking samples from a patient’s nose and throat. Such testing is more accurate than the rapid test that takes blood samples.
Public places such as airports, train stations, and markets are the targets of the PCR test, given that those places are the centre of the crowd.
On Monday (11 May), the Bogor Regency conducted the rapid test to 200 train passengers at the Bogor Statio. One of them was tested reactive based on rapid tests.
“We found that one person was tested COVID-19 positive based on the rapid test. Then, he or she must not go anywhere, and we continued with a swab test,” Bogor Regent Ade Yasin said.
So far, Indonesia has 104 laboratories for COVID-19 testing, Katadata reported.
However, only half the number has carried out the testing using PCR method.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo hoped the national COVID-19 mitigation task force can handle 10,000 PCR tests a day.