Jakarta The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) has mobilized its resources throughout Indonesia to accelerate laboratory testing for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) specimens, according to BPOM Head Penny Lukito.
“We have mobilized all resources in the central office and branch offices in regions. We try our best to accelerate the handling of COVID-19, including the utilization of our laboratories for specimen testing,” Lukito noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
The laboratory testing is conducted at the National Center for Drug and Food Testing (PPPOMN) and 21 BPOM laboratories that have Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) kits.
Lukito noted that the agency will provide RT-PCR kits and conduct laboratory testing for COVID-19 in regions recording a major spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Five BPOM laboratories have been readied to expedite the COVID-19 specimen testing.
“The PPPOMN laboratory can test 300 samples per day, while BPOM in Gorontalo can test 200 samples daily; BPOM in Makassar, 150 samples per day; BPOM Jayapura, 90 samples per day; and BPOM Ambon, 180 samples per day,” she remarked.
As of May, two BPOM laboratories have tested 868 specimens from the Wisma Atlet emergency hospital and Hajj Dormitory.
The BPOM laboratory in Gorontalo has tested 730 specimens during the period, while BPOM Jayapura and Ambon have respectively tested 41 and 153 RNA extractions for COVID-19 diagnosis.
“In addition, the PCR laboratory in Makassar is ready to operate for COVID-19 testing,” she noted.
Currently, 16 BPOM offices, equipped with RT-PCR, are readied to lend the kits to laboratories in 16 provinces: Riau, West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Bangka Belitung, Jakarta, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Central Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, Lampung, Jambi, East Java, West Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, and West Sulawesi.
Source: Antara News