KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 – Indonesian president Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has urged health authorities to increase PCR testing for coronavirus, aiming for at least 10,000 per day.
“I want PCR tests to be further increased and for the backlog of [unprocessed] samples to be reduced, especially in the epicentre regions,” Jokowi was quoted as saying by Jakarta Post.
“Up until today we have reached a total of 26,500 tests. This is a good jump but I want for us to conduct at least 10,000 tests per day.”
There is a total of 29 labs to process PCR tests in the country as of now, and the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry had imported 18 PCR testing machines that can run 500 tests each, every day.
According to Jakarta Post, Indonesia has the lowest testing rate in the world with 99 tests per million people, far behind Malaysia at 2,000 per million people, as well as Singapore and South Korea at 10,000 per people.
To reach similar targets, Indonesia will have to conduct about 2.7 million tests.
As of April 13, Indonesia has recorded 4,557 positive cases and 399 deaths, said the health ministry on its website.