"At this time, BRIN still centers its focus on health research related to handling COVID-19, because, as we know, this pandemic is not over yet, although we all certainly hope this will end soon," he remarked at a virtual event entitled 'Health and Food Research and Innovation 2021' originating from here on Tuesday.
Specifically, the focus of BRIN's research on overcoming COVID-19 lies in three things: the independent development of the COVID-19 vaccine, development of non-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection tools, and COVID-19 case surveillance tool, Handoko informed.
Hence, he said he hopes that BRIN researchers can soon produce vaccine seeds that can be handed over to pharmaceutical industries for mass production in 2022.
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"There are still many challenges, but, of course, all the researchers at BRIN and other teams are working hard on the Merah Putih vaccine," he added.
According to Handoko, the development of a variety of non-PCR detection tools is necessary because COVID-19 detection is one of the most strategic instruments for preventing large-scale virus transmission.
Meanwhile, he said, surveillance is being carried out based on whole-genome sequencing. It has actually been done by BRIN researchers, especially those from Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and Cibinong Science Center, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
"Until next year, these are still our main research goals. Thus, we hope our researchers will be able to develop vaccine seeds that are categorized as CPOB or the method of producing a good drug," Handoko added.
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