Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology is encouraging random COVID-19 testing to prevent the emergence of COVID-19 clusters in schools.

"The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology is working with the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Handling Task Force to increase random testing in schools," acting head of the public relations and cooperation bureau of the ministry, Anang Ristanto, said here on Wednesday.

Random testing is being carried out to prevent transmission or the forming of school clusters, he informed. In addition, strict monitoring of the implementation of the health protocols in schools is also necessary, he said.

Arie Senta, the head of partnership of SehatQ, a digital healthcare provider startup, affirmed that his company fully supports the implementation of random testing for preventing school clusters. In addition, it fully supports the government's decision to reduce the price of PCR tests, which are getting more affordable for the wider community, he said.

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“We believe the government has considered various things before deciding to make a price reduction. Therefore, we welcome the government's plan to reduce the price of PCR tests to support the acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic handling, especially in increasing the number of PCR tests to strengthen the tracking and testing mechanism according to the procedures issued by WHO," Senta said.

Currently, the price quoted by SehatQ for PCR tests is in accordance with the rules set by the government, which has priced them between Rp465 thousand–Rp495 thousand, he added.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of November 24, 2021, at least 4,254,443 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, while 4,102,700 people have recovered and 143,766 people have succumbed to the deadly virus.

Related news: Govt revising guidelines for face-to-face learning

Translator: Indriani, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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