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Jakarta Post

Indonesia ready to produce ventilators, COVID-19 test kits to meet skyrocketing demand

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 16, 2020   /   09:31 am
Indonesia ready to produce ventilators, COVID-19 test kits to meet skyrocketing demand Critical care resources in central China are being strained by coronavirus patients needing a month or more on mechanical ventilators, according to a study. (Bloomberg/File)

Indonesia is ready to mass-produce urgently needed medical equipment, including ventilators and COVID-19 test kits, to meet skyrocketing demand, several ministers have confirmed.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the ventilators would soon be developed by state-owned electronics manufacturer PT LEN Industri and hospital equipment maker PT Poly Jaya Medikal, each of which had a production capacity of 100 units per week.

“A prototype of the ventilator is now being tested by the Health Ministry. Hopefully we can start the production next week, so we can have our first 200 locally made ventilators by April 25,” Bambang said, adding that the ventilator had been designed by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).

Aside from that, a number of universities and research institutions are reportedly developing their own ventilator prototypes to be tested at the Health Ministry. 

Read also: Indonesia asks Tesla's Elon Musk for ventilators

Bambang further said that the BPPT had also prepared for the manufacture of two kinds of test kits, namely the rapid one, with the help of the Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic kit, with assistance of vaccine manufacturer PT Biofarma.

“Around 100,000 rapid test kits will be produced in the next one and a half months. We plan to produce more for the COVID-19 response,” Bambang added. 

Separately, Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the ministry had coordinated with at least four universities, namely the University of Indonesia, UGM, the Bandung Institute of Technology and the November 10 Institute of Technology, to develop ventilators. 

He added that the country would produce “16,000 [pieces of] personal protective equipment [meeting WHO standards] per day in the near future.”