Indonesia's PCR testing level reaches 90% of WHO target

Indonesia's PCR testing level reaches 90% of WHO target

Head of data and information technology at the COVID-19 task force, Dr. Dewi Nur Aisyah, at an online press conference originating from Jakarta on Wednesday (December 2, 2020). (ANTARA/Katriana)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests carried out in Indonesia has reached around 90 percent of the target set by the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 Handling Task Force has stated.

"In the last week, we were able to break the targeted figure of 90 percent of the WHO target," said head of data and information technology at the COVID-19 task force, Dr. Dewi Nur Aisyah, at an online press conference originating from Jakarta on Wednesday.

The WHO has prescribed one thousand tests per one million population per week, she informed.

Based on the target set by the WHO, the COVID-19 task force said it had calculated that around 276 thousand people out of 267 million Indonesians need to be tested per week.

Based on this calculation, the task force noted, Indonesia’s national PCR testing levels were just 30 percent in July, 2020. The figure rose to 40 percent in August, 70 percent in September, 82 percent in October, and finally, 90 percent on November 28, this year.

"If we look at the progress, it is apparent that it is going quite well. This (number of tests) did go down in the third and fourth weeks of October, during a long holiday, and because there were still obstacles or challenges in the field, so the number of our examinations decreased at that time," Aisyah observed.

However, she said, the testing level rose again and continued to increase until it reached 90 percent of the WHO target.

The rates were obtained from reports from 465 laboratories included in network laboratories. However, Aisyah stressed that it could not be ascertained whether all 465 laboratories have handed in their reports on PCR testing.

Considering the possibility that there may be private hospitals and laboratories that are also conducting examinations and that have not been included in the reports received by the task force, she concluded that the percentage of PCR tests carried out in Indonesia could actually be higher than the WHO's target.

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