People with COVID-19 symptoms still need to perform full tests: Health Ministry

first_imgRead also: Indonesia late to respond to COVID-19 pandemic, former VP Kalla saysRecently, the government mulled a plan to perform mass rapid tests in all laboratories across Indonesia in a bid to expedite the detection of the disease. The rapid tests are deemed more convenient and can promptly detect whether a specimen is positive for COVID-19 compared with the PCR test.Rapid tests only require blood serum as a sample, meaning the tests can be performed at all health laboratories across the country. Everyone, whether they have shown COVID-19 symptoms or not, can undergo the test.The testing method is easier to implement, as the regular tests have to be performed in level-two biosafety laboratories, since nasal fluids or larynx substances — in which the virus is contained — are used as the main specimens. Topics : The Health Ministry has said that people showing COVID-19 symptoms still need to undergo the regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to determine their next medical treatment despite having previously taken rapid tests — which will be provided by the government in upcoming days.Health Ministry Disease Control and Prevention Director General Achmad Yurianto said that PCR tests were more accurate in detecting the disease since the tests thoroughly examined molecular reactions in samples. Such a feature, he said, was the main benefit of the tests even though the examination process could take some time.“The regular test is still mandatory for anyone who has tested positive but has shown mild symptoms of the disease. This is because the severity of the disease is supposed to be known after a person has performed the test,” Yurianto said in a press conference on Thursday.center_img The government remains tight-lipped on when the tests will be available in the country.Read also: House urges COVID-19 rapid response team to work fasterHowever, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo instructed his subordinates to quickly perform rapid tests across the country during a limited meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.While people showing symptoms of the disease should take two tests, people who test positive from the rapid tests but show no symptoms will be asked to self-isolate to stop the virus from spreading.Yurianto said the government would also publish guidelines on how to perform self-isolation at home since the purpose of the tests is to encourage people to self-isolate once they know they have been infected with the virus.“Not all people who have tested positive should be treated in hospitals after taking rapid tests,” he said. “The rapid test will act as a screening as to whether we should self-isolate ourselves or not,” Yurianto added. (glh)last_img

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