Gov’t to Produce COVID-19 Test Kits
Date 11 Mei 2020
The Government has announced that medical devices for rapid diagnostic test kits and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be produced after the equipment passes validation and registration tests at Ministry of Health.
“We have set a target to produce 50,000 to 100,000 synthetic peptide-based antibodies rapid detection kits by the end of this month,” Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education/Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Bambang Brodjonegoro told the reporters after a Limited Cabinet Meeting, Monday (11/5).
The Minister went on to say that the production capacity of rapid detection kits could reach up to 100,000 units per month, which is expected to meet skyrocketing demand for medical devices.
“There are three more types of rapid test kits, but it will take one to two months of developing process,” the Minister added.
On ventilators production, the Minister said that the Health Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency has tested four prototypes of ventilators, which are currently undergoing clinical trials.
“One of four ventilators produced by the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) has passed clinical trials. The ventilators are expected to enter the mass production immediately,” Bambang said.
According to Bambang, other ventilators developed by the University of Indonesia (UI), the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), and the automotive holding Dharma group will complete clinical trials.
“The production capacity will be 100 units per week. Hopefully, we can meet the demand of ventilators in the country,” the Minister said.
On that occasion, he also said that the BPPT will complete mobile Biosafety Level-2 (BSL-2) laboratories to be launched on 20 May 2020 so that it can be operated at Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital.
“The mobile lab will be able to speed up test up to 250 samples a day,” the Minister said.
Bambang further said that various COVID-19 cures and vaccines used in several countries are being tested in clinical trials.
“We also conduct clinical trials on quinine pills as a modern medication from Indonesia. For supplements, clinical trials are being conducted at Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital for various Indonesian herbal ingredients that are expected to boost immune system against COVID-19,” Bambang said.
Regarding stem cell therapy, he added, convalescent plasma has been developed in several hospitals. There is also a national protocol for conducting clinical trials in more hospitals in the country, which aims to increase the number of recovered COVID-19 patients.
According to the Minister, it takes a long time to develop vaccine for COVID-19. However, the genome sequences of coronavirus samples from Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and Airlangga University in Surabaya is expected to help scientists understand the mutations of the virus strains and aid the development of a vaccine.
“For serum, the developing process is at the first stage,” the Minister said, adding that a stem cell approach has been developed to be able to repair the damage in the lung. (FID / EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana