Health Minister Issues Circular on Accelerated Testing, Tracing during PPKM
Ministry of Health on Friday (23/7) issued Circular Number: H.K.02.02/II/1918/2021 on Accelerated Testing and Tracing during the Implementation of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM).
“The Circular aims to accelerate the response to pandemic during the PPKM through swift detection by increasing the number of testing and tracing,” Acting Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of Ministry of Health Maxi Rein Rondonuwu said.
The measure, Maxi continued, is expected to find confirmed COVID-19 cases as early as possible so the patients can receive medical treatment immediately to suppress the severity and prevent ones’ death.
“Strengthening testing and tracing measures will be prioritized for regions with high mobility and transmission rates,” he added.
Under the Circular, regions included in PPKM Level 3 and 4 categories are allowed to use Rapid Antigen (RDT-Ag) test results as a diagnosis for tracing and can also be used as supporting data in filing COVID-19 claims.
However, the use of RDT Antigen is prioritized for regions where diagnostic tools are limited, so the tracing can provide result faster and can be carried out on a massive scale.
The Circular also regulates when a person is identified as a close contact, either symptomatic or asymptomatic, he or she is required to take an entry and exit test. If the result of RDT-Ag test on the first day is negative, the person must also take a PCR swab test on the fifth day (exit test).
For regions that do not have PCR lab facilities, the exit test can use RDT-Ag.
Close contacts, the Circular reads, are all people who live in the same house and work in the same room as those confirmed positive for COVID-19 test. The close contacts are required to take an entry test and undergo quarantine until their test results are negative.
Close contact tracing will also be identified for people who travel together, are in a religious/social activity together, and have a meal together.
If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is found during tracing, then patients with mild symptoms and asymptomatic must undergo quarantine in the provided isolation center. Meanwhile, patients with moderate and severe symptoms will be taken to health care facilities for further treatment. (Ministry of Health PR/UN) (GWH/MUR)