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Jakarta Post

Health Ministry sets Rp 150,000 price ceiling for COVID-19 rapid tests

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 8, 2020   /   06:32 pm
Health Ministry sets Rp 150,000 price ceiling for COVID-19 rapid tests Get it done: An employee of "The Jakarta Post" has his finger pricked during a rapid test at the "Post"’s building in Palmerah, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday. The rapid testing was held in cooperation with Antara national news agency as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. (JP/Donny Fernando)

The Health Ministry has issued a circular setting a price ceiling of Rp 150,000 (US$10.41) for COVID-19 rapid tests, following numerous complaints over the high prices of such tests.

The circular, dated Monday and signed by the ministry’s director-general for health services, Bambang Wibowo, states that all health facilities must adhere to the price ceiling.

“The government needs to step in on the issue of rapid test prices so that the public do not feel like they are being taken advantage of for profit,” Bambang said in the circular.

Read also: Explainer: What's the new coronavirus saliva test, and how does it work?

Previously, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said that he had asked the Finance Ministry to subsidize rapid tests for travelers, especially public transportation users.

People seeking to travel by airplanes and long-distance trains are required to submit negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid test results before being allowed to board.

“We are currently asking the Finance Ministry to subsidize rapid tests for those who travel regularly,” he said earlier this month as quoted by kompas.com.

Rapid tests, while faster, are less accurate than PCR tests, with a high possibility of false positives as well as false negatives.