Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Friday announced that COVID-19 antigen or PCR tests are no longer mandatory following the revocation of the public activity restrictions (PPKM) policy.

The government is expecting residents to opt for COVID-19 testing, if needed, at their own initiative, he added.

"Is the PCR or antigen testing abolished? I believe the more proper answer would be, it will no longer be mandatory for the government. We hope residents will have the awareness (to take the tests, if needed),” Sadikin said after accompanying President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as he announced the withdrawal of the PPKM policy at the Merdeka Palace here on Friday.

Residents can undertake the COVID-19 antigen or PCR tests if they need to determine whether they have been infected or not in the same way as they use a thermometer to check whether they have a fever or not, the minister explained.

"Gradually, we will increase public participation to take PCR or antigen tests (on their own initiative) as it will be similar if they need to check body temperature with a thermometer. They can take the antigen or PCR tests when they feel unwell," he said.

The President on Friday announced an end to the PPKM policy, which was enforced to control COVID-19 transmission in Indonesia.

"Considering our (COVID-19) numbers, today, the government has decided to revoke the PPKM policy as regulated in the Home Affairs Ministry’s Regulations No. 50 and 51 of 2022," Widodo said.

The revocation of the PPKM policy means that there will be no more restrictions on public activities and mobility, he affirmed.

However, the President advised all people to remain careful and vigilant against COVID-19 transmission risks.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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