Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has urged government officials to expedite laboratory examinations to detect COVID-19 to ensure prompt identification and treatment of cases of coronavirus infection.

"Once again, the speed of examination in the laboratory should be pushed up again, so we can find who is positive or negative faster," Widodo stated via video teleconference from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Monday.

The president called on relevant government officials to accelerate the implementation of tests using rapid diagnostic tools and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) examinations for individuals at high risk of COVID-19 transmission comprising doctors and their families, people under surveillance (ODP), and patients under treatment (PDP).

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The president also instructed government officials to fast-track the procurement and distribution of protective equipment for medical personnel and medical equipment required by hospitals for handling COVID-19.

"We have distributed it, for instance, to a province in the region. However, from that area, it must be monitored to see whether it has been distributed to hospitals," he noted.

The president also reiterated the significance of a common vision and cooperation between the central and local governments in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Reporter: Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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