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Jakarta Post

Hunting the virus

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, March 26 2020   /  01:07 am

Devastating news emerged Wednesday, the Hindu Day of Silence, that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s mother, Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, has died. The President faces the extra burden of mourning even while battling the raging pandemic.

With an already overwhelmed healthcare system, the government has imported test kits, which are vital for detecting many more cases as quickly as possible across the country.

However, the mass testing, which starts this week in the capital – the epicenter of the pandemic in Indonesia – and adjacent provinces of Banten and West Java, which have recorded the second highest number of cases, will not be on the scale nor as sophisticated as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in South Korea.

The mass testing will employ rapid test kits, which use blood samples to detect if patients have the antibodies to the pathogen. The tests ...