A health worker conducts a swab test in Surabaya, East Java, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Moch. Asim)

Jokowi Sets New Target of 20,000 PCR Tests Per Day


JUNE 04, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has set a new benchmark for Covid-19 testing of 20,000 polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests per day, having finally reached the previous target of 10,000 tests a day last week.

On Thursday, Indonesia reported 585 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 28,818.


National Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said 13,206 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of tests to 367,640 from 251,736 people.

"We must start preparing to reach the next target of 20,000 tests per day," Jokowi said during a limited cabinet meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

The president praised the task force's success in meeting his previous testing target, despite taking more than 40 days to reach it consistently since it was announced on April 12.

Jokowi also asked the task force to do more aggressive tracing of Covid-19 cases using advanced communication technology.

"New Zealand has a digital diary. South Korea uses mobile GPS for data tracking and monitoring. We should develop something similar," Jokowi said.

Price Standardization

Task force chief Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo said on Thursday the price of a PCR test would soon be standardized. 

Doni said the price should be set so that the majority of the public can afford the test, especially workers in essential sectors who need to travel.

The president has assigned Health Minister Terawan Putranto to standardize the price.

"We should focus on standardizing the price [for PCR testing]. Many essential workers need PCR testing to complete their travel documents," Doni said after attending the cabinet meeting with the president.

Currently, the price for a PCR test at private hospitals varies from Rp 2 million ($142) to Rp 2.5 million.