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Jakarta Post

Maluku villagers reject COVID-19 rapid testing team

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 5, 2020   /   10:06 am
Maluku villagers reject COVID-19 rapid testing team A health official arranges rapid testing kits at the Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) office in Malang, East Java, on May 12. (Antara/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

Dozens of residents of Silale in Ambon, Maluku, staged a protest on Thursday to turn away a medical team that had intended to perform rapid COVID-19 tests on a family living in the area.

The head of a local neighborhood unit (RT), Ruslan Abdul Gani, said the protest was triggered by the secretiveness of health authorities about the results of COVID-19 test performed on a local, identified as A.

Ruslan said A had been quarantined by authorities for 21 days. However, he had yet to be released "despite his good condition", as reported by kompas.com.

The man received a positive result from a COVID-19 rapid test conducted at a local market a few weeks ago. He was quarantined and underwent a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at a nearby facility to get a more accurate result. 

Read also: COVID-19 positive man refuses to be taken to hospital, hugs neighbors in rage

"However, health authorities have yet to reveal the PCR test result," Ruslan said, as quoted by kompas.com.

He said the medical team could only conduct rapid tests in the neighborhood after residents saw A's test result. PCR test results are usually returned seven days after testing.

Village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa) eventually dispersed the protest.

People who test positive for COVID-19 through a rapid test are required to take a PCR test for a more reliable result. However, the number of available PCR tests is limited because of a shortage of reagent. (vny)