Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has expanded the network of laboratories to research genome sequencing for monkeypox in 10 major cities in Indonesia.

"All Environmental Health Engineering Centers (BTKL) throughout Indonesia are used for monkeypox laboratories specifically in Medan, Palembang, Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Jakarta, Ambon, Manado, and Makassar," Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Ministry, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, noted in Jakarta, Tuesday.

The use of the BKTL facility as a monkeypox virus research laboratory added to the number of laboratory networks that earlier only provided two units, each at the Primate Animal Study Center Laboratory in Bogor and the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory Dr Sri Oemijati in Jakarta, Rondonuwu explained.

He noted that the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Medical Devices at the Ministry of Health had supplied the needs for laboratory test materials in the form of reagents to all BKTL for the monkeypox virus test.

"We are expanding the laboratory because we considered the priority with several international entry points, such as in Bali, Jakarta, and Manado," Rondonuwu explained.

Related news: Indonesia intensifies vigilance against monkeypox

He affirmed that no cases of monkeypox had yet to be confirmed in Indonesia since 15 suspects were reported to have tested negative for the disease based on the analysis of laboratory workers.

"I have not updated the diagnosis that caused the patients to be suspected of monkeypox. However, we continue to conduct surveillance at the country's entry points and in the community," he remarked.

Some 75 countries, until now, have reported cases of monkeypox. The usual symptoms experienced by patients are fever; severe headache; muscle aches; backache; weakness; swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin; and rashes on the skin.

Hence, the government reminded the public to apply clean and healthy living behavior (PHBS) to prevent all types of infectious diseases.

Related news: Indonesia monitoring monkeypox outbreak
Related news: Airport staff should watch out for monkeypox symptomatic passengers

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2022