Jakarta (ANTARA) - A Health Ministry official has urged Indonesians to take self-antigen tests if they experience any symptoms of the Arcturus sub-variant of COVID-19.

"Self-antigen rapid test kits can currently be purchased at health device stores, pharmacies, or other places that have a distribution license," Edi Setiawan said during an online press conference on Monday.

There are currently two types of antigen rapid test products, namely domestic products with AKD code and overseas products with AKL code, he informed.

Since many Indonesians are unfamiliar with the use of such kits, he also outlined the procedure for using them.

The first step is to check the distribution license on the self-antigen test and read the written instructions carefully. The second step is to take the test and scan the Quick Response (QR) code. Next, report the result of the scan on the ministry's Satu Sehat application.

If the result is positive, it will be immediately followed up with a PCR test to determine whether the test-taker should self-isolate or get admitted to a hospital.

Setiawan also urged people to choose antigen test kits with nasal swabs. Such kits require only a swab from the nose, without touching the nasopharynx. A nasopharynx swab can only be done by health workers.

To avoid potential mistakes, kit users must carry out the tests based on the written instructions and not be too concerned about them since any positive result will be reconfirmed through PCR testing, he said.

The goal of self-antigen tests is to carry out early detection, support prevention and medication, and get connected to the Satu Sehat application and telemedicine application, the official said.

The symptoms caused by the XBB.1.16 or Arcturus sub-variant are similar to the previous variants, namely fever, cough, and sore throat, according to Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Syahril.

However, in several countries, such as India, where the Arcturus variant first emerged, a new symptom of red eyes has been reported, though this condition is not frequently found in Indonesia.

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Translator: Lintang B P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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