Jakarta (ANTARA) - COVID-19 patients undergoing self-isolation can use the result of their antigen rapid test to access free telemedicine services, director-general of health services at the Ministry of Health, Abdul Kadir, has informed.

"If (a patient tests) positive or reactive based on antigen (test), as long as it is reported through the Ministry of Health's big data NAR (New All Record) system, the patient can access telemedicine services," Kadir said at a virtual press conference, accessed from here on Thursday.

He then advised people to get tested at health facilities that are connected with the Ministry of Health's NAR system.

According to Kadir, as long as the test result is reported to the NAR system, it can be verified. The patient will be notified via phone regarding the free access to telemedicine services, including medicines, he said.

Nonetheless, people who test positive for COVID-19 based on a rapid antigen test must undergo a rapid PCR test for more accurate results, he suggested.

Related news: Government broadens telemedicine services for COVID-19 patients

"If the antigen (test) result is positive, we suggest taking a PCR test due to its gold standard (more accurate result)," he explained.

Even though COVID-19 cases in Java and Bali are spiking, the symptoms caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are not as severe as the Delta variant, Kadir said.

However, he reminded people to remain alert because the Omicron variant can be dangerous for older adults, children, people with comorbidities, and unvaccinated people.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020. According to data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of February 10, 2022, Indonesia has recorded 4,667,554 COVID-19 cases, 4,234,510 recoveries, and 144,858 deaths.

The Ministry of Health detected the first Omicron infection in Indonesia on December 15, 2021. With the spread of the new variant, Indonesia has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

Related news: Gov't intensifies vaccination, telemedicine to handle Omicron surge
Related news: President Jokowi orders telemedicine drugs' delivery within hours: KSP

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2022