Govt donates coronavirus breathalyzer to Indonesian Ulema Council

Govt donates coronavirus breathalyzer to Indonesian Ulema Council

GeNose has been used to screen train passengers for COVID-19 since February 5, 2021. (ANTARA/Martha Herlinawati Simanjuntak)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Research and Technology Ministry on Thursday donated one set of GeNose C-19, a COVID-19 breathalyzer developed by the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

The COVID-19 testing tool was handed out by Research and Technology Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro to MUI chairman Miftachul Akhyar during a virtual event here.

"This tool is the result of our people's innovation by using artificial intelligence," remarked Brodjonegoro, who also heads the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).

He said the ulema council and people at large are expected to support the use of GeNose for strengthening Indonesia's COVID-19 screening capability. According to UGM’s official website, the soft launch of the COVID-19 breathalyzer was conducted at the Tugu Train Station in Yogyakarta on February 3, 2021.

The testing tool that can detect "volatile organic compounds through the human breath" has also been deployed to screen passengers departing from Jakarta's Pasar Senen Station.

Brodjonegoro had stated earlier that the GeNose would not serve as a substitute for swab testing (polymerase chain reaction testing).

The breathalyzer has been used to screen train passengers for COVID-19 since February 5, 2021.

Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since the government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

The government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program this year to arrest the spread of infections.

According to the Health Ministry, it would take 15 months to vaccinate around 181.5 million people under the national program.

Indonesia's COVID-19 infection rate crossed one million cases on January 26, 2021.

To attain herd immunity and free the nation from the clutches of the pandemic, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has stressed on the need for successfully administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the targeted population.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease has dragged Indonesia into serious public health and economic crises. (INE)

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