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Jakarta Post

Govt could use TB test kits for COVID-19, doctor says

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 30 2020   /  12:53 am

The Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) has said diagnostic test kits for tuberculosis could be modified and used for COVID-19, but that it is up to the government if it wants to employ the device to fight the deadly disease.

The government has so far used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and antibody test kits for coronavirus testing in the country. Critics, however, say the government has not been aggressive enough in testing, raising concern that the country has been under-reporting cases.

Faisal Yunus, a member of the PDPI advisory board, said doctors in Indonesia had always conducted rapid molecular tests to detect tuberculosis using the diagnostic kits, called Xpert TBM/RIF. In the past, the doctor said, those kits were equipped with cartridges that could only detect tuberculous meningitis bacteria and its specimens’ resistance to Rifampicin, an antibiotic...