The Jakarta Post
The Health Ministry has approved a locally made COVID-19 detector called GeNose for distribution.
The device was developed by Gadjah Mada University (UGM) and was funded by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Research and Technology Ministry’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).
GeNose research team head Kuwat Triyatno said the device was approved for distribution on Thursday.
“Alhamdulillah [thank God], with support from various parties, GeNose has received approval for distribution, which is a recognition by the regulator, the Health Ministry,” Kuwat said in a statement on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.id.
The COVID-19 detector was developed several months ago.
GeNose detects possible COVID-19 infections through human breath. The machine, which uses artificial intelligence, produces results within a few minutes.
Kuwat said that having received the ministry’s approval, his team would immediately distribute the first 100 GeNose machines, the first batch of a larger production effort funded by BIN and BRIN.
The 100 machines are set to be distributed to hospitals, airports and train stations, among other places.
The research team also plans to distribute some of the machines to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
GeNose is not yet available for personal purchase.
Kuwat said he hoped the machine would help the government address COVID-19, especially as it only took three minutes, including taking the breath sample, to get a result.
“Having the 100 units, we’re hoping to conduct 120 tests per unit, which equals 12,000 people being tested in one day.
“The estimated 120 tests per unit is based on an average of three minutes in process for each test, including taking the breath sample. Therefore, in one hour, we hope we can test 20 people, and if it is used effectively, each kit can be utilized up to six hours per day,” said Kuwat.
Prior to receiving the ministry’s approval, GeNose had undergone a test that used 600 samples from the Yogyakarta Police’s Bhayangkara Hospital and a COVID-19 emergency hospital in Bambanglipuro, Yogyakarta, kompas.com reported on Saturday.
The test found that the device was 97 percent accurate.
A GeNose machine is expected to be priced at Rp 40 million. A test will likely cost Rp 25,000 per person. (nkn)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.