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Jakarta Post

C. Sulawesi awaits COVID-19 RT-PCR test 'kits' from UK

  • Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Palu, Central Sulawesi   /   Wed, April 8, 2020   /   04:37 pm
C. Sulawesi awaits COVID-19 RT-PCR test 'kits' from UK Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ernesto Santa Ana loads a swab sample into an ABI StepOne Plus RT-PCR machine to test for COVID-19 on March 19, 2020 at the Naval Medical Research Center's mobile laboratory aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the Philippine Sea. (AFP/Kaylianna GENIER / Navy Office of Information )

Central Sulawesi has purchased equipment from the United Kingdom that detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 through a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on samples from suspected cases of infection.

Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola said that the procurement of  the COVID-19 RT-PCR test was part of the administration's effort to enable the province to carry out its own testing.

“We’ve ordered [the necessary instruments for] the RT-PCR test from the UK. The quality is just as good as the ones [in the Health Ministry labs] in Makassar, South Sulawesi and Jakarta,” Longki told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The newly bought equipment enables Central Sulawesi to test swab samples from local residents without sending the samples to Jakarta or Makassar for analysis.

Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia to administer more PCR tests, acknowledges some rapid tests 'ineffective'

The instruments, which cost Rp 3 billion (US$186,000) and weigh 2 tons, is intended for use at the Central Sulawesi Medical Laboratory of Undata Regional General Hospital in Palu regency.

The governor said that the equipment had already arrived in Jakarta and was en route to Palu, and would be ready to use by mid-April.

The province earlier revised its report on two confirmed cases when their test results came back negative for COVID-19. The cases have been identified as the Central Sulawesi Legislative Council's Elim Bunga Allo and an unnamed 55-year-old woman.

Central Sulawesi has recorded two deaths to date: North Morowali Regent Atriple Tumimomor and Nurdin H. Raga, identified as "a pilgrim".

As of Tuesday, Central Sulawesi had recorded five confirmed cases, 30 patients under surveillance (PDP) and 356 people under monitoring (ODP), according to the provincial COVID-19 task force spokesperson Haris Kariming. (aly)