Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is using single-use viral transport media (VTM) to support laboratories in carrying out surveillance of COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, including other diseases in Indonesia.

Indonesia received a grant of 260 thousand VTM from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) here on Monday.

The VTM will be used to support tracking, testing, and treatment not only for COVID-19 but also for other diseases, the ministry's director of health surveillance and quarantine, Dr. Achmad Farchanny Tri Adryanto, informed.

"We will distribute the VTM assistance from JICA to provinces and districts/cities. It can be utilized by disease prevention and control surveillance teams in each province, district/city, and even in health facilities, such as hospitals and health centers," Adryanto said.

The distributed VTMs are expected to be optimally used by laboratories in the regions, thus giving benefits to the communities.

He said that the VTM is a part of COVID-19 response and can be used for further examinations, such as whole genome sequencing.

In addition to COVID-19 testing, VTM can be used to test for the monkeypox virus or other infectious diseases, Adryanto pointed out.

Meanwhile, JICA Indonesia Representative Office's project formulation advisor Yu Nakahira said that the grant is a part of JICA's ongoing commitment to handling COVID-19, especially in partner countries, in terms of development.

"JICA will continue to support the capacity strengthening of partner countries to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases, including COVID-19, and ensure equitable access for all," Nakahira said.

It is hoped that the VTM grant will result in more efficient COVID-19 contact tracing. The VTM provision will also support all laboratory units at the national and regional levels.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Health Ministry reported 1,344 additional cases of COVID-19, with Jakarta contributing the most infections at 546.

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Translator: Zubi M, Kenzu T
Editor: Suharto
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