Indonesia to scale up COVID-19 tests, tighten protocol for coming migrant workers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 11, 2020
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JAKARTA, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has been trying to scale up the COVID-19 tests and boost surveillance on tens of thousands of migrant workers who will come back home in a bid to rein the virus outbreak.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Monday that the current level of 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day is too low, ordering authorities to step up the tests to 10,000 specimens per day.

"I have reached a report that the level of the tests is from 4,000 to 5,000 specimens per day. I think this is still short of our target," he told a cabinet meeting.

The president ordered to maximize the function of test facilities including laboratories and called for beefing up manpower engaged in precautionary efforts.

On migrant workers, the president said that about 34,000 of them will come home after terminating their work contracts this month and next month.

Surveillance on their arrivals and their journeys to hometowns would be undertaken along with the imposition of tight health protocols, said the president.

"I have information that their contracts will terminate in May and June."

To scale up the COVID-19 rapid tests, head of the COVID-19 Task Force Doni Monardo said that the president has ordered the Health Ministry and the task force to recruit more people.

With more people involved, the frequency of the tests would be intensified, Monardo said.

"When human resources are sufficient, the tests would be conducted around the clock," he added.

The COVID-19 virus has killed 991 people across Indonesia and infected 14,265 others, the Health Ministry reported on Monday. Enditem

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